The City of Eugene plans to distribute millions of units of Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, to small businesses and nonprofits for free this month. Eligible businesses and organizations can begin applying on Jan. 12.
To comply with COVID-19 protocols, businesses and organizations are required to use masks and sometimes gloves. Costs can add up, but the city is hoping to relieve some of the burden by offering PPE for free.
“We recognize that because this is a worldwide pandemic access to these supplies not only is a dwindling resource, but it’s also become [a] very expensive resource,” Amy Hartsfield said. Hartsfield is the Deputy Operations Chief with the city's Emergency Operations Center.
“Anything we can do to help our community members and the businesses in the area to stay safe, and slow the spread of COVID, is something that we think is incredibly valuable,” she said.
Through a partnership with Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, the city acquired a stock of 14,000 boxes of medium and large gloves, nearly 4 million masks, and 32,000 boxes of antiseptic wipes.
All supplies will be given out through an application process on a first come first serve basis. Once approved, businesses and nonprofits can receive a two-month supply of PPE.
“We believe we will be able to give about 2,000 businesses almost everything,” Hartsfield said. Hartfield added that based on their estimation, they’ll run out of gloves and wipes but will continue to distribute masks until those are gone.
To qualify for free PPE, small businesses and nonprofits have to be located or headquartered in Eugene, have a 100 or fewer employees and have an Oregon Business Registry number. Registration opens on Jan. 12 on the City of Eugene's website found here.
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