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COVID-19: Entrepreneurs to the rescue

Montreal, March 11, 2021 – For over a year now, the spotlight has been on governments and the actions they have taken in the context of the pandemic, sometimes obscuring the great contribution of entrepreneurs in maintaining a certain quality of life for Canadians in these difficult times. A new publication launched by the Montreal Economic Institute lifts the veil on the efforts made by entrepreneurs to reinvent themselves, pick up the pace, and help us meet this challenge.

“The past year has been difficult for Canadians, but we have been able to count on resourceful entrepreneurs who were able to address several of our most urgent needs,” points out Krystle Wittevrongel, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI. “For instance, with stores closed in some places and online sales exploding, UPS, FedEx, and Amazon together hired over 300,000 employees in order to meet the holiday crunch.”

“If we think back to a year ago, we’ll remember how hard it was to find hand sanitizer. The demand for this product had become completely unsustainable after having increased by more than 300%,” explains the analyst. “Canadian companies took up the cause, and distilleries learned a new trick in order to supply us with these essential products.”

The same logic applies in the case of medical protective equipment. When we were hit with shortages of masks and face shields, companies like Bauer came to the rescue. “Our entrepreneurs were engaged in a real war effort, not only to survive and keep their employees working, but also to help essential workers feel protected,” says Miguel Ouellette, Economist and Director of Operations at the MEI.

“The year 2020 would have been even more difficult if entrepreneurs hadn’t rolled up their sleeves in order to facilitate the sale of goods online, allow us to order food from our favourite restaurants from the comfort of our living rooms, or help us work from home while staying connected with our colleagues and clients. They are, in my opinion, the most unsung heroes of the pandemic,” concludes Mr. Ouellette.

The Viewpoint entitled “Entrepreneurs Stepped Up in Response to COVID-19” is available on our website.

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The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent public policy think tank. Through its publications, media appearances, and advisory services to policy-makers, the MEI stimulates public policy debate and reforms based on sound economics and entrepreneurship.


Interview requests: Marie-Eve McNicoll, Communications Advisor, Cell. 581-777-5060, Email: memcnicoll@iedm.org

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