MacKenzie Atlantic

A Better Environment, a Better Future

MacKenzie Atlantic has transformed from one man and his machine, to one of the largest manufacturing and CNC machine shops in Atlantic Canada. The company uses state-of-the-art technology to manufacture parts for their clients in a number of sectors, including defense, marine, aerospace and oil and gas. Their main facility is in Musquodoboit Harbour, with a second location in Dartmouth. They’re also in the midst of expanding to a third facility in Chezzetcook. And they have no intention of slowing down. Aside from their main business, after seven years of research and development, Matthew and Carmen launched MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies and recently released Paraglide, a manual device to help reposition patients in wheelchairs.

Last year, when the pandemic hit, Matthew and Carmen were able to quickly pivvot their daily business efforts and begin making personal protective equipment to help boost supply during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a matter of months, they nearly doubled their employees and set up a new production facility in a high school gymnasium to meet the demand. In just four months, they produced 1.2 million face shields for the Nova Scotia Health Authority staff and physicians. MacKenzie remembers walking through the double gymnasium at Dartmouth's Prince Andrew High School – his old high school – and realizing just how far he had come.

"I went from losing sleep over spending $300,000 on my first large business purchase to purchasing $2.3 million in a single capital equipment purchase,” says Matthew.

Rewind 15 years, and you’d find a man with an idea. Matthew MacKenzie had recently completed his Machinist apprenticeship in British Columbia. and had moved back to Nova Scotia with his wife. After spending time working in an unpleasant work environment, Matthew was motivated to create a better workplace for himself and others – so he decided to open his own shop. “I had no intention of running a large business – I wanted to create a small humble machine shop,” says Matthew.

Although he was equipped with the skills and experience, Matthew needed funding to purchase his first CNC machine. “We had no equity at the time, and we couldn’t find any major bank that was willing to give us a loan to get started,” he says. That was until he came to CUA. In 2005, CUA provided him with a small business loan, and he used it to help purchase equipment. He later hired his first employee.  From the first CNC machine, to purchasing a third facility, CUA has been right there beside Matthew providing support, guidance, and financial services to help him reach his dreams.

The key he attributes to his success? “Surround yourself with great people that are smarter than you,” he says. That means going to experts for advice, like CUA.

“I can say without a doubt, that our team is phenomenal, I never wanted to create an environment like I had during my apprenticeship. I wanted everyone’s opinion to feel valued and appreciated.”

Ready to make a difference with your business? CUA’s commercial banking services can help get in touch with us today to get started.



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