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Stepping up during COVID

COVID-19 has dominated headlines for months now. We’ve also witnessed individuals and organizations stepping up to help their communities weather the storm.

We’re so very grateful to our frontline and essential workers, including our teachers. 

The teaching community quickly pivoted and adjusted to ensure they were there for their students. Some of the companies within our investment portfolio also quickly shifted and adapted to help their communities during this crisis.

We’re proud to share some of their stories with you. 

Kindness on the vine

Arterra, Canada’s leading wine producer and marketer, has been busy helping where they can:

  • Donated cash to food banks and community programs
  • Donated alcohol to create sanitizers and disinfectants
  • Packaged and delivered masks to frontline workers
  • Launched a matching program to double employee contributions to registered charities

“Despite the disruption of COVID-19, Arterra, its brands and wineries have demonstrated incredible resolve,” says Harj Shoan, Managing Director, Portfolio Management, Private Capital. “We’re proud of the corporate citizenship they’ve shown in the face of this crisis and are honoured to have them be a part of the Ontario Teachers’ family.”

Supporting parents and children

Busy Bees, a premium childcare provider, has kept more than a third of its daycare centres open exclusively to support essential workers and vulnerable children. They share content daily on their Facebook page to help parents at home with their children, including reading tips and activity ideas. Busy Bees also shares details on how their facilities will keep children safe when they return to the daycare setting.

Giving a hand

CareerBuilder, a global company that helps employers find, hire and manage talent, launched a crisis support centre to help people find jobs. Through a simple text, those affected can access job support and instantaneously see which companies in their area are hiring. The company has also shared a variety of online resources for employees and employers.

Compassion in dark times

OGF, the leading funeral services provider in France, has helped that country cope with the spike in funerals. The French government selected OGF to open and manage two temporary funeral parlours near Paris. They’ve waived the charges associated with these viewing facilities for grieving families.

From leisure to frontline protection

AZEK, makers of TimberTech decking and other sustainable building products, shifted its production resources to produce antibacterial partition materials for emergency hospital conversions. In April, they provided roughly 5,000 hygienic plastic sheets to the State of New York. The sheets were used as partitions at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, when it converted to a 2,000-bed temporary hospital.

Keeping a lid on infections

PODS (Portable On Demand Storage) stepped up to assist the US Army Corp of Engineers. They modified existing PODS containers into infection isolation rooms for those battling COVID-19. PODS is also offering a rental fee discount to help college students who’ve been displaced during the crisis.

“We’re all in this together which is why it’s so inspiring to see how many organizations have shifted their focus with the unified goal of helping during the COVID-19 crisis,” says Jane Rowe, Executive Managing Director, Equities. “Our portfolio companies continue to go above and beyond in ensuring that first, and foremost, the needs of their communities are met.”