Bob Costa, founder and president of B.C. Tent & Awning Co. Inc., Avon, Mass., began 2020 with optimism for the company’s continued growth and expansion, and its approaching 40th business anniversary. Then COVID-19 struck and changed the company’s trajectory in its milestone year.
As the economy reacted to the pandemic, Costa’s company’s services were in demand. Restaurants turned to temporary tent rentals to meet their customers’ needs and COVID-19 testing sites sprang up at healthcare centers and outside of schools.
During the past year, Costa saw a significant increase in the use of clear span tents, which are better suited for parking lots where there is no opportunity for center poles and stakes.
“We were pleased to be able to help so many companies and institutions with these temporary tent needs,” said Costa. “So many of our typical client venues didn’t materialize, such as weddings, graduations, anniversaries and business conventions. It wasn’t the year we anticipated, but our team pulled together and we were able to meet the needs of the communities, for which we’re grateful.”
As the company reached its 40th anniversary, Costa recalled how much the world has changed since the company got its start. In 1980 Jimmy Carter was president of the United States but would soon cede the honor to Ronald Reagan, gasoline sold for less than a dollar per gallon, Voyager 1 reached Saturn and a first-class stamp cost 15 cents.
During its 40-year history, B.C. Tent has become one of Massachusetts’ premier tent and party rental companies. In 2017 it acquired Boston Party Rental of Dorchester and Avon, which has served to expand the company’s presence in the Boston market. In addition to tent rentals and furniture, B.C. Tent also sells fabric storage shelters and custom awnings. Throughout the years, the company has provided services for many high-profile events, such as when the Pakistani president spoke at one of Boston’s universities in 2003, and when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004.
While the last year has not gone as expected, Costa is optimistic that 2021 will be a better year.