Toronto sign company adapting to post-pandemic world


As we return to some sense of normalcy over the coming weeks, you're likely going to see more signs and stickers reminding you about social distance.

For Skymark Signs owner David Gonzalez, it means he's getting back to business.

"It has not been easy, coming into the pandemic a lot of clients decided to put their projects on hold," Gonzalez says. "So that got us a little bit worried because we kind of saw our business evaporate very quickly."

But once restrictions started being eased and businesses prepared to reopen, there was an uptick at Skymark Signs that hadn't been seen in months.

"New people are also calling, inquiring about new signage, from industries including restaurants so that gives us a little glimmer of hope," Gonzales says. "So we are doing quite a bit of the social distancing graphics."

The pandemic has led to new needs from the public, and BNN Bloomberg's Jon Erlichman says companies that are quick to adapt will be more likely to survive.

"In some cases they might be selling signs, in some cases they might be selling cell phones, and they're getting some business from customers that they wouldn't have anticipated getting," Erlichman says. "So everybody really has to reinvent themselves, and I think that's been the story of the COVID-19 business turn around."

Erlichman adds that industries adapting to the post-pandemic world aren't necessarily going to see a surge in sales.

"They're not getting back to where they were before, it's just that you have these new set expectations, and if you can win a little bit of business, if you're a maker of signs, if you're any kind of retailer and you can see a little bit of an uptick in your business, that's really encouraging, it means that there is a light at the end of the tunnel."

For Gonzalez, the best part of restrictions easing is being able to get back to work, and help out fellow small business owners.

"Somebody said to me once 'It's not the strongest who survive during times of change, it's those who adapt' and that's what we're doing, it's the only thing we can do and I think it's human nature."