Scaife Signs’ ‘Stay Strong Terrace’ sign on Hwy 16 in Terrace, pictured on Aug. 6, 2020. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)

Signs of the times: Terrace sign makers’ businesses evolve during COVID-19 pandemic

Scaife Signs and Silvertip Promotions & Signs Inc. created COVID-19 related materials in Terrace

Signs, floor decals for phyisical distancing and other COVID-19 related materials are hard to miss around Terrace.

Since 1995, Scaife Signs in Terrace has specialized in everything from hardhat stickers to billboard signs. But when the COVID-19 pandemic reached Canada, business changed.

“I flat-lined probably for two weeks,” said Tom Scaife, owner of Scaife Signs.

“Then boom all of a sudden I’ve got all these playground signs and I got that big sign, that ‘Stay Strong Terrace’ and it just started floating in, the COVID signs for quite some time.”

Scaife Signs created COVID-19 related signage and posters for the City of Terrace and the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, among others. The company has also made Plexiglass barriers to separate staff from customers for Terrace businesses. That work bridged the gap until more ‘normal’ business picked up.

Now, he is doing a lot more work for industry, mainly Coastal GasLink and the LNG Canada project in Kitimat.

“Then it just seemed to change, not so much commercial signs like storefronts and stuff like that more the industrial type stuff,” he said.

But Scaife said that he still is not seeing a large volume of business from his usual commercial customers as B.C. continues to reopen its economy.

“I wouldn’t say I’m below normal, but I’m below normal of my commercial people, like my regular storefronts and stuff,” he said.

Silvertip Promotions & Signs Inc. in Terrace specializes in wholesale sign orders and promotional products. It has seen a huge demand for COVID-19 physical distancing floor decals and signs.

Silvertip Signs has provided multiple local First Nations with signs at the entrances to their communities including the Nisga’a Lisms Government, Kitsumkalum and Kitselas First Nations, among others.

“The whole business of what we do just pivoted to being COVID signs like crazy, huge signs going up to the villages, outlying areas warning people to not come into the villages,” said Janice Shaben, an owner of Silvertip Promotions & Signs.

“It was just crazy busy, it’s been crazy busy, it’s still crazy busy, today we’re still working on another rush order.”

The promotions side of the business was hit harder by COVID-19 initially, but that division of the company is adapting by offering logoed face masks, hand sanitizer and related products.

Silvertip Signs has also been selling sneeze guards and acrylic barriers. Shaben said the company is lucky that it was not as negatively affected by the pandemic as others.

“We’re one of the blessed businesses, that’s for sure.”

READ MORE: Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada


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