Amsterdam, NY As essential businesses continue to adapt to the changing work environment surrounding the ongoing global health pandemic, many small businesses are facing challenges meeting the need for personal protection equipment (PPE)–especially mandated masks. To assist these small businesses and help protect both employees and residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Montgomery County Business Development Center (MCBDC) has launched a coordinated purchase and distribution effort in conjunction with local manufacturers.
MCBDC began distributing the first 2,000 of 10,000 protective masks to local small businesses free of charge this week.
Under State Executive Order 202.16, all essential businesses or entities are required to provide employees with face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Using established contacts across multiple organizations to provide the best possible price, MCBDC has begun procuring masks to aid local businesses. The program will also be used, at the appropriate time, to help small businesses provide supply to their employees once they are cleared by the state to reopen.
“There has been a strong call from the local business community, especially our smaller employers, for help securing PPE to ensure the safety of their workforce and the public,” said MCBDC CEO Ken Rose. “This program gets them some additional supply at no cost now and establishes a pooled buying system that will help employers get the best price for locally-manufactured equipment in the coming months.”
“Once we took delivery of the first shipment, we immediately began distribution to employers who have been contacting our team. It’s our way of helping ensure that businesses are safe, and we can reopen protecting workers and residents,” said Rose.
Essential and non-essential businesses who wish to participate in the program now or as the area begins to reopen can email Vincenzo Nicosia, at [email protected], with their contact information and how many masks they are looking to acquire.
After receiving its first supply of masks this week, Rose and other members of the BDC’s team have begun distributing products to employers, like Amsterdam Oral Surgery, The Peeler Group, MCT Credit Union, Adio Chiropractic and the Hungry Bear Café.
Dr. Adam Weiss, owner of Amsterdam Oral Surgery said the program is immensely helpful for his staff.
“Our clinic has been working hard to ensure continued access to vital dental-medical services during this uncertain time, but the personal protective equipment we need remains difficult to secure. Early on during the crisis we reached out to the Business Development Center and they responded by getting us an emergency supply. This latest donation of masks will be a tremendous help. We are grateful for the Business Development Center and Montgomery County for their efforts to ensure we are able to continue to serve those in need without compromising health and safety,” said Dr. Weiss, DDS.
Bill Peeler, president and CEO of The Peeler Group thanked the Business Development Center’s team and the county for its help.
“We are tremendously grateful for the Business Development Center’s work to help us secure PPE masks. These resources will help us better protect employees and the public. Access to PPE masks is critical for essential workers like ours, and the neighbor-helping-neighbor spirit we see here in Montgomery County is really what makes our community so special,” said Peeler.
“We believe that by working together our local employers and the County will get through this pandemic and come out stronger,” said Rose.
Business Development Center officials plans to continue to work with local employers to ensure a steady stream of PPE mask supplies are available, as long as there continues to be a need.