Purchasing collaborative seeks to reduce barrier to critical equipment
Baton Rouge, La. (May 7, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced a purchasing collaborative with Lyons Specialty Company, LLC to source and supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at competitive rates to the Capital Region business community. BRAC is responding to business concerns about the accessibility and affordability of PPE that, if unaddressed, poses a risk to the reopening of the region’s economy. The PPE Marketplace is accessible at brac.org/ppe.
“We have heard from businesses across the region that access to PPE threatens their ability to reopen safely,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “We encourage businesses to secure their PPE supplies now in advance of the anticipated May 15 start of the Phase 1 reopening of the economy to ensure employee, vendor, and customer safety.”
The PPE Marketplace is updated regularly and includes items such as disposable 3-ply sanitary masks, N95 masks, gloves, hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol, alcohol wipes, sanitizing towels, disinfectants, and more. Businesses are invited to place orders for next day, hands-free pickup in Port Allen. The use of the PPE Marketplace is open to all and does not require any current or prior relationship with BRAC.
“We are pleased to partner with BRAC to provide businesses the necessary PPE products as they begin the reopening process,” said Hugh Raetzsch, Jr., CEO of Lyons Specialty Company, LLC. “Everyone is aware of the supply chain issues with these products. In this collaborative effort with BRAC, we have been able to not only secure the quantities needed, but also procure these products at the best possible prices. By rolling this process into our normal daily warehouse operations we have been able to create a streamlined workflow to create a hands free / touch free pickup process at our Port Allen distribution facility. We are all anxious to get the businesses in our area open again and the Louisiana economy back on track.”
In a PPE needs survey conducted by BRAC, 72% of respondents indicated that they had not yet purchased PPE or had made a purchase, but were worried about the supply chain to successfully get more. When asked what they plan to purchase, 92% of businesses responded that they plan to purchase sanitizer, 72% plan to purchase face coverings, 70% plan to purchase gloves, and 59% plan to purchase thermometers. The survey results also indicate that accessibility of supply is a slightly higher concern than affordability.
Ten percent of sale proceeds made through the PPE Marketplace will go toward supporting BRAC’s COVID-19 recovery priorities. Read more about BRAC’s work to support businesses through the pandemic and recovery period here.
BRAC is regularly updating brac.org/recovery with business resources like the PPE Marketplace and guidance related to COVID-19.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,400 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at brac.org.