Meet the 2022 Business Builders
Meet the 2022 Business Builders
This award celebrates businesses who experienced an increase in demand for their product and service resulting in significant growth in sales, market share, or team in 2022. The Business Builder of 2022 will be a business that made outstanding leaps in success and growth to their bottom line.
Learn what our 2022 Business Builders did to meet challenges head on, and grow as a result, in their own words.
Delta St. John’s Hotel & Convention Centre
“Following a devastating two years, and with all intel pointing to a recovery for convention hotels that would not take place until 2024, we began to reach out to smaller conferences closer to our region as well as creating incentives to conferences who were willing to take chance on 2022. Against all odds, business began to rebound in a very large way in 2022 including groups and conferences. We expanded our team in order to meet the demand of the surging business, hiring 24 Ukrainian refugees to work in our housekeeping department while also expanding our front desk, restaurant, kitchen and banquet teams to ensure we could properly service our business without the excuse of staffing shortage.
With the loss of so many conventions due to Covid, we turned to a market that we usually cannot accommodate due to the incumbency on us to host large groups and conferences that benefit the destination. We carved out a place in the wedding market with resounding success. In a normal year, pre-pandemic, we would host at most 10-15 wedding. In 2021-2022, we hosted 40 weddings resulting in significant new catering revenue.”
Easter Seals Newfoundland and Labrador
“This year, while adhering to the public health guidelines, we were able to launch all of our programs and services in-person, introducing new programs which as Build Your Skills, Mommy and Me Classes and a Pilot Pottery Project, to engage participants and their families and connect with community partners throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
Despite the challenges due to COVID-19, our Recreation Programs Team increased accessible and inclusive programs to over 250 participant’s in-person. With an incredible 800+ program registrations. Our team was excited to introduce 3 new programs to our weekly schedule, to meet the needs of even more people with disabilities in our province. Our summer day camp was successfully delivered in-person for 8 weeks through July and August with an increase in participant registration, and three overnight camps at Burry Heights. Our programs continued to grow in 2022, returning to full operation in the Fall, delivering 15 weekly programs, our monthly socials, and family events!”
Fort Amherst Healthcare
“This past year, Fort Amherst Healthcare increased occupancy at existing personal care homes, launched services as part of our ongoing expansion of our continuum of care, invested in new initiatives, and successfully opened our newest facility, Westbury Estates.
We focused on establishing an identity for first-class care and expanding our suite of services we offer our customers and target market. As Covid restrictions in the province loosened and our brand awareness increased, demand for our services increased. Seniors or their adult children recognized the value of socialization and other health care benefits in a personal care home compared to being home alone, especially with isolation heightened by lockdowns.
As the business has grown, so has the demand for labour. From September 2021 - September 2022 we created 60 new jobs. We partnered with the Atlantic Immigration Program and Taskforce NL to ensure we maintain quality care through our workforce. Working with these organizations has allowed us to find talented, caring, and dedicated employees, and identify and implement ways to best support immigrant workers and communities.”
“Three new initiatives contributed to NLCU’s year of exceptional growth:
- NLCU Mortgage Broker Program: Launched the summer of 2021, NLCU is able to expand its market reach through its mortgage broker program by working with reputable mortgage brokers. The program has been tremendously successful to date. The biggest advantages of this program are acquiring new members and getting the opportunity to expose them to NLCU’s service culture, thus strengthening the relationship.
- Pre‐approval Loan Campaign: This campaign began in June 2022 and runs until the end of November 2022. Select members in good standing are pre‐approved for a loan with a maximum value of $15,000 with a fixed rate and single premium coverage. The loan may not be used to pay out or reduce existing NLCU credit. With an increase in housing prices and interest rates, it is an opportune time to offer a product that enables members to make home improvements, pay down high interest debt, make investments, or add to their rainy‐day savings.
- Vehicle Leasing Program: In the fall of 2021, NLCU launched a vehicle leasing pilot program. AFG Canada offered a newly introduced auto lease financing program for automotive dealers in Newfoundland and Labrador. NLCU was the first financial institution in the province to offer this solution. We offer lease financing for new and used vehicles, the latter of which is an untapped market. Again, the time was ripe for a leasing program that included used vehicles, especially since it was increasingly difficult to acquire new vehicles due to supply chain disruptions.
“From September 2021 to September 2022, our team’s capacity - and our revenue - has increased significantly. This year, our team’s mix has evolved and has allowed us to increase our capacity to serve more clients more efficiently, allowing us to grow our revenue and continue finding success in helping companies make their workplace “the place to be”. The addition of a dedicated resource to business development, as well as HR administration and labour relations capacity has set People Stuff on a path to further growth.
This year, we branched out significantly securing clients outside of Atlantic Canada, and Internationally - we are proud to have clients across the country, and in Norway!
Background: People Stuff was started in 2018 to respond directly to an identified gap in support being experienced by many businesses – managing human resources effectively and efficiently in an adaptable, affordable way. Since 2018, People Stuff has grown from one sole employee to a team of six. We have been working with clients to effect meaningful change, improve engagement, and help accelerate business in a mutually beneficial way for both the employer and employee.
At People Stuff we know that people are the core of any organization – but how was 2022 different? Many of our clients are adapting to change that was induced by the pandemic. Many are realizing they require a greater focus on their people in order to retain them – are people engaged? Are they happy? Retention is important in an increasingly competitive economic environment, but how do companies ensure that their workplace is functioning to its maximum capability? Here at People Stuff that’s what we’re all about – adaptable HR solutions. Organizations are increasingly seeking support for HR functions in their business, and our adaptability to work as much or as little with our clients based on their needs, at an affordable rate, is something that we are proud to offer.”
Piatto Pizzeria + Enoteca
“During various stages of lockdown, restaurants were permitted to open, but at significantly reduced capacity. Piatto was no exception and, like many businesses, we initially rushed to adapt to a crisis to protect our business and our employees. We then began to plan for and implement changes to our business model and ultimately, we moved towards growth while facing obstacles and economic uncertainty corresponding to the pandemic-related circumstance. Today, we have expanded our offerings in ways that, ironically, we may not have achieved had we not been exposed to the severity of constraints imposed by the pandemic.
Lockdowns showed us very quickly that if our customers were no longer able to come to Piatto and enjoy in-house dining, that we needed to quickly find innovative ways to reach them. In 2020, we responded with our first pivot; our ‘take and bake’ pizza kits. The kits were a hit while lockdowns kept people inside and families were looking for activities to do at home. As time went on and when our world reopened in stages, the demand for homebased activities diminished as did sales of the take and bake products. Piatto saw this as another new opportunity to shift from an activity-based product to a convenience product.
In 2021, we purchased vacuum packing equipment to further develop our ‘Piatto at Home’ product line. This quickly ignited our slowing sales and launched us into an entirely new sales category. We used strong relationships built in the early stages of the pandemic with trusted local suppliers who initially took small numbers of Piatto’s new offerings and then expanded their orders to respond to customer demand. With the help of social media and product placement by our partners, ‘Piatto vac-pac Pizzas’ quickly became a new and steady revenue stream for Piatto in 2021-2022.
Change has been constant for Piatto this past year. With increasing demand for vac-pac pizza products and while still operating fully opened restaurants, we realized the need for operational changes. This has sparked a recent initiative for the Piatto at Home product line. Without sufficient time or space to maximize the Piatto at Home demand within the physical structure of our existing restaurant locations, in the summer of 2022 we leased a new structure to create a full production facility for all our wholesale items, with construction still underway. Additionally, this year Piatto has purchased 2 portable electric ovens, enabling us to enter the market of large scale catering and major event supply. This was not previously an option with the traditional takeout model and we are working to expand this segment of Piatto’s offerings. We look forward to further future growth for our business as we deliver new products to our valued and new customers.”
Come celebrate these and many other amazing nominees at the Business Resilience Awards Gala on November 24!
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