In a time when the global coronavirus pandemic seized the world, many businesses found ways to pivot to continue operating.
One of those companies in Aurora was Curb Signs Inc., a provider of innovative and custom signs on Engelhard Drive run by husband and wife team Joseph Gatt and Mehalka Salma.
They design, print, manufacture and install a number of products such as vinyl graphics, billboards, illuminated letters and three-dimensional printings for stores, home builders and other customers.
Like many businesses, they were hit hard by the pandemic, losing a number of sales and projects.
“At one point, we did not have anything to keep us afloat and contemplated closing our doors temporarily,” Gatt, company president, said in an email.
“After brainstorming many days with our staff, we took advantage of our capabilities and determined that we had the means to design and manufacture face shields as well as transparent barriers. We also utilized our printer and materials on hand to produce floor and wall graphics to promote social distancing and proper hygiene.”
Sales, office and production staff is making the personal protection equipment (PPE) being used by front-line workers.
For example, Curb Signs is making lightweight, anti-fog and medical-grade face shields and is manufacturing transparent and non-transparent custom-fit barriers.
Its COVID-19 awareness package includes posters and signs that can be used in workplaces to remind employees and customers to wash their hands frequently and to avoid touching their faces.
Their floor graphics promote social distancing by reminding people to avoid crowded places and keep a distance of at least six feet or two metres apart.
“This is a global concern that can unite us together through our actions. We at Curb Signs feel that these personal protection products will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Gatt said.
“Some of our products have been sent to senior centres and other front-line workers and the response has been great. The use of quality materials, innovative design and the commitment of our staff can only have a positive result on this pandemic.”
Finding a way to switch gears during the pandemic not only created a way to respond to the health and safety needs of front-line workers and the public, but kept Curb Signs operating during a difficult time, Salma, the chief financial officer, said.
“We could have chosen to close and wait out the pandemic,” she said.
“We felt that this was necessary to help front-line workers and keep our staff employed. It was our duty to contribute to the effort to combat COVID-19. We saw a shortage of PPE and felt we needed to help in what ways we could. We miss what we used to do but feel blessed with this opportunity to help not only front-line workers, but to ensure that we keep our staff safe and employed.”
For every shield the company sells, it is donating one to charity, Salma said.
For more information, email PPE@curbsigns.ca or visit shop.curbsigns.ca.
For information on the Town of Aurora’s efforts to help businesses, visit aurora.ca/covid19.