We have all talked a lot about how difficult this year has been on everyone from families losing loved ones to companies and tourism providers forced to reinvent themselves. COVID-19 turned our lives upside down here at home and around the globe. It’s no wonder many can’t wait to say goodbye to this year. But there are also some good things that have come out of 2020 that we should remember. It’s not just the resilience of our community but the opportunities we found as we were all trying to find our way.
Adapting on demand
This year we saw so many Winnipeg companies step up and step forward to meet the demands of COVID-19 and keep people safe. Here are just a few:
- Price Industries, an international leader in the critical environment sector, evolved its fan filter units to address pressing, essential service needs during the pandemic. The system, which scrubs contaminants or viral particles out of the air, was retrofitted to create negative pressure isolation rooms to house COVID-19 patients—first in hospitals, then in temporary healthcare facilities.
- PCL Construction collaborated with Price to include the fan filter systems in its isolations pods. Converted shipping containers could easily be shipped and set up quickly anywhere in the world, garnering attention from cities struggling with the pandemic and critical response organizations like the Red Cross.
- NFI Group led the way in making transportation safer with anti-microbial air filters, modifications to emergency roof hatches and UV light in HVAC systems. NFI’S hydrogen peroxide generators were installed in buses and coaches to continuously disinfect the air and high-touch surfaces.
Adapting on the fly: Hospitality
Our restaurants, shops and tourism businesses had to adapt on the fly as well. Many upped their online game, turned to curbside pick-up and delivery, added groceries to their lineup, gift cards or memberships.
Our hotels reinvented themselves by offering pre-made dinners from their restaurants or positioning hotels as another work-away-from-home option.
We had to shift as an organization as well. Economic Development Winnipeg and Tourism Winnipeg moved away from marketing our city outside the province and focused on encouraging more Manitobans to shop often and shop local. We know we have to be here for our local businesses so they are here to stay.
Adapting to a new reality
We’ve adapted and are still adapting to our new reality, so what will 2021 look like? We know with the news of a vaccine on the horizon, there will be an opportunity for recovery and growth again.
We continue to sell Winnipeg to the world, working with all our partners to make sure we have the right environment for business to grow and we are ready to push our economy forward again.
Our teams at Economic Development Winnipeg, Tourism Winnipeg and YES! Winnipeg will continue to support local companies, remove barriers, bring more investment into Winnipeg and when it’s safe to do so, bring more visitors and people to our city.
We wish you and your families a safe, healthy and happy holiday. We will return on January 4, 2021—ready to build back a much stronger Winnipeg.