Adapting Business Operations & Navigating New Issues

Joanne and her husband, George Korkomaz, are the owners of Living Stone, a natural stone and quartz supplier, in Mount Uniacke.

As part of the construction supply chain, Living Stone is an essential service and their operations continued throughout Nova Scotia’s State of Emergency. When the State of Emergency was first declared in March 2020, the Korkomazes immediately introduced new procedures and protocols to keep operations running while protecting their employee’s health and safety. They communicated their changes every step of the way to keep the public informed.

One of their first steps was shutting down Living Stone’s showroom to appointment only, and within the week a virtual tour of the showroom was posted online. Customers were able to have samples delivered. Employees were placed into shifts, and those who were able to work from home did so. A safety consultant came and spoke to employees about proper cleaning procedures. These are just a few of the many steps taken by the Korkomazes.

COVID-19 forced many changes to Living Stone’s business operations, and some restrictions proved to be more challenging to overcome. For example, Living Stone has projects in other provinces, such as New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. While border restrictions were in place, even within the Atlantic provinces, essential service workers were exempt and able to cross borders. However, Living Stone employees were sometimes met with conflicting information at the border and were unable to cross. This left the Korkomazes communicating with multiple government agencies in order to get paperwork that would permit employees crossing the border without issue.

Throughout the pandemic, Living Stone has prioritized work, completed projects, and delivered on customer expectations, all while appreciating their staff and keeping them comfortable. Joanne says that in such an unpredictable situation, like COVID-19, the best advice she can provide is that you wake up and make a plan based on what is happening that day.

Joanne also said she appreciated East Hants Business Development Division’s support throughout this process, and said it was reassuring knowing that the division was there to help.


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