Canadians have been celebrating Small Business Week for over four decades. However, this year's events are set against the backdrop of a global pandemic and the resilience that small businesses have shown throughout.
Here at Irving Shipbuilding, we are taking this opportunity to showcase the local businesses that are playing a part in delivering Canada’s new fleet of Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels.
Many of the businesses you will meet this week share elements in common; they come from humble beginnings, many are family-owned and operated and are making an impact by providing employment and development opportunities here in Nova Scotia.
We are proud to be a partner driving economic benefits from coast-to-coast-to-coast. To date, the National Shipbuilding Strategy for Canada’s combat fleet being built at Halifax Shipyard has generated $3.5B in investment and spending commitments across Canada for more than 275 businesses – both large and small.
Even through uncertain times, Small Businesses are an example of these constants: the value of building strong relationships and providing excellent quality products and services.
Day Nite Neon Signs, which began as a small business in 1948 in Halifax Nova Scotia, now employs approximately 55 sign industry professionals in three provinces.
“We have been supplying the aerospace industry for over 50 years and have worked with the Coast Guard and now with Irving Shipbuilding,” said Jason Soubliere, Account Executive at Day Nite Neon Signs.
As part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Day Nite was selected as a vendor to supply a variety of products for the new Arctic and Offshore Patrol vessels including: valve tags, photoluminescent signage, placards, chrome name plates and various decals and signage. Day Nite's proposal included analyzing their current equipment to maximize efficiency.
“We ended up manufacturing some equipment specific to this project to minimize waste of material and ensure top productivity,” explained Jason. This preparation included drawings for over 30,000 different items for the first ship.
Day Nite has two manufacturing facility branches in Toronto, ON and Dartmouth NS, as well as a sister company in St. John's, NL. While working with Irving Shipbuilding, Day Nite has been able to add new equipment to their facility in Dartmouth and hire new employees.
From Jason’s perspective, the contract has provided, “job security as well as growth.”
Jason believes this opportunity has also enabled Day Nite to review processes and policies and make many improvements to their work. “We are constantly looking for ways to increase productivity, decrease waste and have a low environmental impact.”
A little-known fact about Day Nite Neon Signs: they have manufactured the industrial markings, plates and tags for the wiring harness that were used on a space shuttle arm – their products have made it to space!