More Industry Goodwill During COVID-19-Related Downturn

Brad Peterson readily acknowledges that among the gloom and doom gripping the Canadian energy industry, he’s one of the fortunate ones — and he intends to keep on sharing his good fortune.

Peterson, the president of Calgary-based FieldCap Inc., a software company that has continued to grow despite the energy industry downturn, believes it’s his responsibility to help other business people who have not been as lucky or well positioned.

And, despite the pain being felt in the oilpatch, there are businesses that have been harder hit as a result of the lockdown in reaction to the COVID-19 virus.

“This is a tough time for any business, but restaurants are among those who literally had to close their doors overnight,” he said, on the company’s website and in social media.

He and other executives with FieldCap, including Donovan Volk, vice-president of operations and business development, decided to help area restaurants by pledging to pay for a takeout or delivered meal from the favourite eating places of the company’s 13 employees.

For Peterson it was a business he knows well, since his sister and brother-in-law, who live in Halifax, own two successful restaurants there.

That success was challenged, of course, by the mandated shutdown of their restaurants, a reality faced by all other restaurants.

For fast food eating places, with a business model that included a large percentage of take-out, it wasn’t as disastrous. But for restaurants reliant on the dining-in model, it was a crushing blow, something he and Tom, his brother and FieldCap co-founder, know too well.

“Our sister and her husband own two successful restaurants in Halifax and they’ve been very successful,” he said. “They have been hit hard but were proactive and shifted quickly to a take-out and delivery model, including groceries, so they could retain as many staff as possible.”

But many restaurants have not been able to make that shift as successfully, especially non-chain, family-owned businesses. That business model is very familiar to Peterson, since FieldCap is also family owned.

“My idea was to find a way to support smaller, non-chain businesses in our neighbourhoods,” he said.

He committed to his company buying meals for its employees from non-chain eating places, but in a direct way, overriding the meal delivery services, which often charge large fees.

That is the idea behind its very successful “Support a Local Restaurant team challenge” which he now plans to implement again soon.

But the initiative went beyond just buying meals. He encouraged all employees to share their dining experiences, including photos, which are now posted on the company’s blog and on social media. The response from restaurant owners has been overwhelming, with dozens of thank you notes from restaurateurs after the first meals were ordered two weeks ago.

In addition to the initiative providing a boost for local, hard hit businesses, it was a morale booster for FieldCap employees, he said.

“They’re all working from home, so they have their own sets of anxieties and this provides them with a good meal and the feeling that they are helping others,” he said. “Hopefully, we can inspire others to support their local businesses as well. I shared our story with customers and friends and one of them has already run the same challenge with his employees.”

Meanwhile, for FieldCap, which was established 15 years ago, business goes on, much as it has — with the exception that its employees are all working from home.

It’s a business model that seems ideally suited for the times, especially given the mandate to keep one's distance from others and especially given the need to cut costs and streamline operations.

The company provides its Oilfield Ticketing Software to oilfield service companies. The software eliminates the need for paper, providing field workers with a platform that works from anywhere, on any device (it even works where the internet isn’t accessible).

Dear user, please be aware that we use cookies to help users navigate our website content and to help us understand how we can improve the user experience. If you have ideas for how we can improve our services, we’d love to hear from you. Click here to email us. By continuing to browse you agree to our use of cookies. Please see our Privacy & Cookie Usage Policy to learn more.