The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on some businesses, but a new store in Inuvik, N.W.T., is actually the result of the current situation.
Hawks Supply, a business that caters to products in the industrial, safety and janitorial industries, had its grand opening on Monday.
"For me it's been a post-COVID[-19] idea … We're in unprecedented times and it's difficult to get some supplies here in the Arctic on a regular basis. A lot of places are out of stock," said Paul MacDonald, owner of Hawks Supply.
"I saw the opportunity ... and I opened up."
MacDonald already owns North of 60 Medical Solutions Ltd., a medical surgical supply company, which serves the entire Western Arctic and part of the Sahtu. He said that his clientele with his other business is mainly from the hospital and by word of mouth.
However, he said opening a retail store on King Road will cater to residents and businesses.
"With COVID-19 we've had a lot more people requiring masks and gloves. All of which we have been able to transfer into the Hawks Supply so people can come to the retail side with full-time staff to purchase the products locally," said MacDonald.
"You have to find unique ways to work around the pandemic problems."
MacDonald said there hasn't been a place in town that sells a significant amount of personal protective equipment (PPE), which they have available.
MacDonald said he was happy with the turnout, with more than 100 people coming through the store Monday, checking it out and making purchases.
Along with PPE, there are interstate batteries for automotive, marine and all-terrain vehicles, safety equipment, various types of oil, oil spill cleanup kits and more.
MacDonald said he will also ship to small communities in the Western Arctic, which hasn't been easy to do in the past.