Calgary Economic Development: Calgary companies reflect on how pandemic changed their businesses

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This article was written by Calgary Economic Development. To read the original article, click here. 

Before COVID-19, Beau Taylor, Founder & CEO, First Defence Face Masks, was importing and supplying gym equipment to Canadians. But shortly after the onset of the pandemic, he knew his company could be helping Canadians and having a larger impact.

With a shortage of medical supplies, First Defence was able to provide Alberta Health Services, and small businesses, with much-needed protective equipment.

“As the pandemic continued, our goals evolved to bringing the supply chain to Alberta, which would have a positive impact on the local economy,” says Taylor.  

Along with the company working to play a bigger part in boosting the local economy, First Defence has also made significant technology investments to make online purchases available for health care, businesses, and individuals.

First Defence is projecting 150 new jobs and an economic benefit of over $7.5 million dollars in new salaries by the end of 2021. This growth is due to the support from local healthcare organizations and businesses making the switch from imported to Canadian-made products, as well as the use of Canadian raw materials to produce the masks.

“We want to get people who lost their jobs because of the pandemic back to work,” says Taylor. “We have a variety of positions, from working on the assembly line to quality control. Anyone can do the work; it just requires training.” 

Taylor’s company has the capability to produce 500,000 masks daily and is looking to expand its arsenal with other medical supplies in the near future. The main focus now is finding strategic partners who can assist in distributing these products around North America and encouraging businesses to make the switch from imported products. 

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