Local Businesses That Give Back Even When Times are Tough
A lot of Calgary businesses have experienced the negative effects of the recession over the last few years. Pipeline politics and oil production constraints continue to impact our economy while falling construction levels and high unemployment rates weigh heavily on the minds of many Albertans.
It’s in this economic climate that businesses show their true character. It’s easy to donate products and resources during a period of growth, but what about when times are tough? Calgary’s most noteworthy businesses are those that support our communities - especially during times of recession. These businesses are counter-recessional.
While many businesses and leaders are mitigating risk, hedging bets and playing it safe, we want to celebrate two specific Calgary companies that won’t let a downturn determine their values or their generosity.
Our first counter-recessional Calgary company is Ecostone Products. Ecostone is an Alberta company, owned and operated right here in Calgary. They offer manufactured architectural stone products for building structures and aesthetic enhancements (so I guess their first contribution is to make Calgary a little prettier!). You’ve probably seen their product before, including everything from exterior stone siding to walkways, fireplaces and landscaping.
With continual orders of different products coming into their warehouses and yard every week, the team at Ecostone originally faced a question of how to manage their fluctuating/diverse inventory. Most businesses experiment with clearing inventory through special sales, promotions or even hiring disposal companies to clear out old stock.
With huge thanks from us, Joshua reached out to the Habitat for Humanity Calgary ReStore and created a third option for their excess inventory. Now, through The ReStore, Ecostone is able to clear their warehouse and yard space, support Habitat for Humanity (helping build new homes for Calgary families), while also ensuring products stay out of the landfill.
“Our arrangement with the ReStore lets us easily clear space, receive a fair tax receipt, and support housing for families in need. A much-preferred alternative to wasting funds to fill our landfills.” –Joshua Hoiberg
We next want to celebrate Stone-Tile West, for their counter-recessional action in our city! Stone-Tile West is a stone and tile distributor specializing in cutting edge design, product innovation and service in the architecture and design industry. Like Ecostone, Stone-Tile West was struggling to find a better solution to move old products and make room for new ones. With the continual flow of new product lines, better materials and the need to clear out old lines that are no longer being manufactured, Cathy knew there must be a way to support our communities with this excess product.
As a company, Stone-Tile West champions an environmental responsibility standard for themselves. This includes a Use and Reduction of Materials policy which sets an admirable bar - to, “Re-use building materials and products in order to reduce demand for virgin materials and to reduce waste.” While we all hope every business would have policies like these, it takes a strong leader and a passionate business to actually enact this and live up to that standard.
When Stone-Tile West found ReStore and discovered that they could reduce their environmental impact AND help local families in need, they were ecstatic.
“We find donating to ReStore an amazing opportunity to make room for new products, and at the same time support our community and lessen our environmental footprint by keeping tile out of the landfill.” – Cathy Roy
Sharing in Success
Historically, and in recent years, consumers make choices to support companies that care about our world. Recent studies prove that consumers around the world are even willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social impact.
This is paired with the fact that while other businesses are holding onto old stock, Ecostone and Stone-Tile West are refreshing their stock continually. This develops a cycle where donating companies are developing an inventory of better, newer products, while their competitors are becoming more and more outdated. As we look at this from an economic standpoint, this supply of new stock also supports local jobs (delivery, install, etc.) along with a loyal consumer base which is more likely to spend the money (knowing that they’re supporting better businesses). When we have more jobs created and consumers more open to spending, that’s exactly what our economy needs!
Healthy businesses are dependent on bringing in new inventory, without the costs associated with overstock and old inventory. Our suggestion? Donating to the ReStore could be a great solution! I know, I know, we’re probably biased 😉, but imagine if all inventory issues ended up with a fix that benefited the community and environment!
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