Atlantic Business Interiors creates Atlantic Compassion Fund in response to COVID-19


March 17, 2020                                                                                                            

For Immediate Release


As communities across the world move quickly in response to COVID-19, a local business owner is taking action to help Atlantic Canadians.

Tom Rose, President of Atlantic Business Interiors, is thrilled to have eleven United Ways throughout Atlantic Canada join him in creating the Atlantic Compassion Fund. The fund will support those who are most impacted by the widespread social distancing and other public health measures being implemented across the region.

Atlantic Business Interiors is donating up to $100,000 in office furniture to support the community and non-profit sector in their ability to work remotely. In addition, Rose is going to match dollar for dollar the first $100,000 of contributions made by individuals and businesses across the Atlantic Region. He encourages fellow business owners, big and small, to consider making a donation- if they can.

“Like so many others, my mind and heart have been racing, thinking about what I can do to help, particularly those who are already vulnerable, precariously employed, and experiencing or living on the edge of poverty,” said Rose. “This fund will provide tangible support to those who need it most and I ask other businesses and individuals who can to join in and donate, too. Together, we can respond compassionately and demonstrate the importance of truly caring for one another.”

Maria Rose, owner of Steve-O-Reno’s Cappuccino in Halifax, is joining these efforts by donating up to $10,000 in coffee and baked goods to service providers, and those they are helping, during these challenging and uncertain times. The goods will be prepared by a team operating with the highest level of cleanliness and goods will be delivered by a response-team on an as needed basis. She is encouraging other food and beverage establishments across Atlantic Canada to do what they can.

“There are many people who are going to be working tirelessly to support those most vulnerable during this time. It’s a privilege to provide this help. We wouldn’t be here without our community,” says Maria Rose.

The Atlantic Compassion Fund will support community agencies and the people they serve during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the fund may be used to:

  • meet the immediate needs of the most marginalized in our community, such as providing access to food, medicine, transportation, and mental health support;
  • support outreach to seniors and vulnerable populations, such as grocery and supply deliveries, safety check-ins, or community interventions that replace traditional drop-in centre programming that is not permitted at this time;
  • pay for deep cleaning services and related supplies and protections for community facilities and shelters; and,
  • provide discretionary funds to service providers so they are better able to help those who will be underemployed, displaced, or further marginalized.

When this period of social distancing comes to an end, the Atlantic Compassion Fund may support programming or initiatives that will help bring our communities back together.

“Many people in our community are in crisis right now,” says Sara Napier, President and CEO of United Way Halifax. “Things like a lack of access to food, medicine and transportation, the closure of public spaces, lost wages, and inability to connect with family, friends or care providers can take already challenge circumstances to unmanageable extremes. Now more than ever we need to pull together to support those who need it most. We hope Tom’s leadership inspires others to believe we can get through this together and to join in by making a donation of their own.”

United Way Halifax will manage the fund on behalf of the region, and will work with United Ways across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador to spread the word and create as much impact as possible.

“Many people are wondering what they can do to help at this time, and this is an example of someone stepping forward and taking real action,” says Halifax Mayor Mike Savage. “I ask others who can to join in and support the Atlantic Compassion Fund and I’ll be in touch with other Mayors across Atlantic Canada to spread the word and discuss how we can mobilize business and community leadership as a region to the benefit of our citizens.”

United Ways across Atlantic Canada are working to understand local needs from the ground up and identify specific ways this fund can meet immediate needs and fill gaps.

Funds raised will be distributed to registered charities and agency partners throughout Atlantic Canada and will be uniquely activated in each community based on local, immediate and emerging needs. We anticipate funding will start to be disbursed the week of March 23rd and it will aim to complement, rather than duplicate, any government-led support.

“As COVID-19 information is changing daily, the fund will evolve accordingly,” Napier says. “We are grateful for the community’s generosity and are committed to turning around applications as quickly as possible, so funds can be invested as community needs emerge.”

To make a donation to the Atlantic Compassion Fund, visit


United Way Halifax

Sara Napier


Atlantic Business Interiors

Michelle Cook


Steve-O-Reno’s Cappuccino 

Maria Rose



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