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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ross


2020 has been a weird year. I guess that goes without saying. Though we've all grown tired of the "times like these" refrain, there's one thing our office hasn't grown tired of, and that's getting to be a part of and witness to the amazing stories of perseverance and innovation in our local businesses.

No one knew what to do in early March when a state of emergency was declared in Ohio. No one, no person, or no business. No playbook existed, and we had to look back over 100 years for an even comparable event of scale. While no doubt devastating, the conditions were ripe for innovation. New problems to solve, new conditions under which to solve the problems, and extreme urgency.

Over the next few days we'll take a look at a few local companies that have dug down deep to find their entrepreneurial spirit, making the necessary pivots to remain relevant and remain in business during these "unprecedented times".

First up, we have a group of small businesses who responded to the market immediately, making pivots in product offerings to serve new demand.

1. Brady Signs

One of the early challenges for all businesses operating throughout the pandemic was communication. We were thrown into immediate information overload while trying to understand new rules and regulations. Brady Signs was able to solve this problem for many producing pandemic-specific signage as seen below. Carefully-designed commercial signage helped many businesses address new changes while making everyone feel welcome.

2. Buderer Drug

As a regional pharmacy, Buderer Drug's business is already a part of our community's health. Months before the state of emergency in Ohio, Buderer began preparing for the effects of a pandemic. They received special permission from the FDA to purchase the chemical needed to make hand sanitizer in house. It should be no surprise that demand was immediate.

3. FTG of Greater Ohio

As companies worked to adapt to shifting work environments, the team at Flex Technology Group launched a free webinar series to educate companies on the tools and resources to help with the transition to remote work. Topics covered things like document and process automation, software solutions, and productivity and balance.

4. Label Aid

Many of Label Aid's customers are in the Food and Beverage industry. As need for hand sanitizer skyrocketed, brewers, distillers, and the like adjusted their business models to provide sanitizer, meaning they had different than usual label needs. Label Aid was able to quickly accommodate. Many of the companies were donating sanitizer to organizations in need in their own community, and Label Aid supported that effort with label donation.

5. Parallax Lighting

Having built their brand and business on retro-fitting commercial and industrial properties with energy-efficient LED lighting, Parallax Lighting found itself with an immediate challenge in March - businesses paused all investment into their properties. Through industry insight, Parallax was prepared and immediately shifted to "Mobile Ultraviolet Disinfection Services". Using hospital-grade UV systems, Parallax, under the brand GoSafe UV, is providing UV-C cleaning services for restaurants, offices, schools, medical facilities, public buildings, and more.

While we are so impressed and so proud of how these companies innovated to keep their own business relevant, we're more impressed with how they've done it in a way to solve problems for their peers, enabling businesses all throughout our community to stay safely in operation. Thank you to these visionary and responsive small businesses!


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