How are Companies Surviving and Helping the Canadian Economy Combat the COVID-19 Crisis?
By: Yashaswi Vig
This year has been one of the most unfortunate and stressful years in history due to the outbreak of COVID-19 across the world.
In addition to affecting the lives of people financially and in other ways, the pandemic has caused trouble to many companies as well as the Canadian economy overall. Many small to medium-sized businesses and corporations have either declared bankruptcy or shut down due to an extreme financial burden.
However, most companies have implemented new measures to continue production while following the government’s rules and strict guidelines. Some companies have started specializing and providing products and services in the healthcare industry while others have taken new measures to survive and help the Canadian economy combat the COVID-19 crisis.
The rapid increase in COVID-19 cases has led to a shortage of ventilators, masks, and other essential medical supplies. Many companies from different industries have begun production of ventilators and the component parts needed to make this device and other essential supplies for COVID-19 patients. The aerospace industry has component parts and raw materials that historically have been used for all vehicles, from airplanes to spaceships, which are also useful for ventilator production. As the pandemic has had a significant impact on aviation, some aerospace companies are now surviving through partnerships and have begun production of medical supplies. Among those companies are Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, and Boeing who have formed an alliance with the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) to help meet the increased demand for ventilators. Not only has this alliance helped these aerospace companies survive but it has also served as a unique opportunity to “harness ingenuity and innovation for the greater good”.
In addition to the aerospace industry, the retail industry is another sector of the economy that has been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Many companies including Reitmans, J. Crew, and JC. Penney has filed for bankruptcy due to financial losses. However, there are some companies that have implemented new measures to survive the pandemic which include bolstering cash, building goodwill, and taking care of employees. Companies like Home Depot have added an additional $5 billion in long-term debt to its balance sheet, which has helped them resolve disrupted supply chain problems, permit extended sick leaves and meet financial commitments to their employees, suppliers, and shareholders.
Most established companies including Nike, Bell Canada, and Best Buy have donated funds or medical supplies to hospitals and other organizations to help combat the COVID-19 crisis. Nike has committed more than $17.5 million in funds to provide personal protective equipment to healthcare workers. This contribution has allowed the company to enhance its reputation as a trusted brand and help the nation survive the pandemic.
Furthermore, oil companies in Canada have been severely affected by the lockdown in the country. However, as the economy gradually reopens and lockdowns begin to be lifted, the oil industry has been experiencing progress in its financial position. Demand for fuel has started to increase with the number of people taking the roads. Experts say that this is a good sign and will help the economy recover faster.
So, many companies in Canada have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis and are facing financial trouble. However, some companies have started taking new measures including forming alliances with medical technology associations to provide essential medical supplies, bolstering cash, and donating funds and protective equipment, which is helping the economy combat the crisis.