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Southern Ontario businesses and the Government of Canada fight COVID-19

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

AVIT Manufacturing, BCM Biodegradable Solutions, Imprinted Apparel Store, PCL Graphics retool to make PPE for their communities.

Transcription – Southern Ontario businesses and the Government of Canada fight COVID-19

[Music starts]

[Clips of Minister Ng speaking at a podium and touring PPE manufacturing facilities, people demonstrating the fabrication of PPE and hand sanitizer production, and textiles facilities creating cloth masks]

[Text on screen:
Mary Ng
Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade]

Minister Ng: Through this period of uncertainty, I've seen small business owners and entrepreneurs be nimble— finding new ways to adapt their business models to the needs of Canadians, to the needs of their community, and to innovate and find solutions in what is a very challenging time.

[Text on screen:
PCL Graphics LTD.
Markham, Ontario
Edmond Shahinian
Project Management at PCL Graphics LTD.]

Edmond Shahinian: So we saw that our traditional work of printing and manufacturing wayfinding and signage was simply not needed. We thought, “How can we use the know-how and the talent we have available to us to really create something that’ll help?” We are no longer going to be making signage and we’re going to be jumping into PPE. We kind of leapt without any second consideration ’cause we saw the need for it.

[Text on screen:
Avit Manufacturing
Peterborough, Ontario
Rhonda Barnet
President and COO of Avit Manufacturing]

Rhonda Barnet: So Avit Manufacturing quickly got involved in medical PPE. Our company solves manufacturing problems every day, so it was very easy for us to put our engineering team on developing techniques to manufacture PPE.

[Text on screen:
BCM Chem Products Inc.
Cobourg, Ontario
Brian Milner
President and Founder of BCM Chem Products Inc.]

Brian Milner: When COVID started and our regular business died down, we had a supply of alcohols in stock that we used for other products, and I applied to Health Canada for the rapid approval to make hand sanitizers. And we now make two hand sanitizers: one based on isopropanol and one based on ethanol.

[Text on screen:
Imprinted Apparel Store
Peterborough, Ontario
Lesley Smith
Owner of Imprinted Apparel Store]

Lesley Smith: And now we’ve moved into making masks for more of our core customers. So the same way they would wear a branded shirt, they have a branded mask. And then with the different fundings that we’ve been able to get through the federal government as well as the provincial government, we brought our first staff back. And over the last 6 weeks, we now have all 10 of our staff back and up to speed. Even though we aren’t bringing in the same kind of revenues that we were, the fact that we can bring our staff back, and we’ve been able to keep all of our staff and not lost them to other industries throughout this, is something I’m particularly proud of.

[Text on screen:

Edmond Shahinian: In times of difficulty, it’s easy to focus on the negative. All we really have to try to do is focus on the small wins. In those small wins, you gain that little bit of certainty and that certainty has been priceless for me. 

[ISED signature]

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[Music ends]

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