Personal Protective Equipment, most commonly called PPE, has almost become a buzzword since COVID-19 began spreading across the state and nation. We heard of the need for these items within hospitals and medical facilities and as talks of reopening began, people quickly came to the realization that your everyday businesses were going to need these items as well to safely serve their communities and keep their employees healthy.
To respond to this widespread need for PPE, BRAC and Lyons Specialty Co. partnered to source a PPE Marketplace for the Capital Region’s business community. The Marketplace offers hands-free, next day pickup in Port Allen for competitively priced items such as disposable sanitary masks, N95 masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, disinfectant spray, and more.
Items provided to the marketplace come from a variety of businesses. Some had to ramp up production of items they already make, while others shifted operations entirely to meet new community needs. We had the chance to chat with representatives from two of the businesses providing items to the Marketplace. Check out what they had to say about their contributions.
Vivid Ink Graphics
BRAC investor Vivid Ink Graphics is a print communications firm producing items such as signage, film production graphics, custom fabric printing, vehicle wraps, and more. During a quick chat with Vivid Ink Graphics President Stephen St. Cyr, he explained that the organization responded to the pandemic by producing acrylic guards often used in retail and grocery stores to protect employees and customers during close interactions such as paying for items. In addition to this, Vivid Ink continued to produce floor graphics and signage, which saw an uptick in demand as businesses started implementing visible six-foot distance rules and other health and safety protocols as advised by the state and CDC.
While the acrylic guards, floor graphics and signage may be found in the PPE Marketplace, Vivid Ink also worked directly with LSU to produce 10,000 reusable gowns for medical facilities.
The Plumbing Warehouse LCR
Another company providing items to the PPE Marketplace is BRAC Investor The Plumbing Warehouse LCR, a distributor of plumbing products for residential, commercial and industrial construction. According to Creighton Verges, The Plumbing Warehouse’s profit center manager, the company’s typical client base falls within the construction industry, which was deemed essential in one of Louisiana’s first executive orders. Because The Plumbing Warehouse’s main client base was to continue working through the pandemic, the company wanted to provide some form of PPE to its customers. So, it started distributing reusable face shields manufactured in Louisiana, which can now be found in the PPE Marketplace.
Although The Plumbing Warehouse started to distribute face shields to meet a growing need with its specific client base, it found that many other businesses have also been purchasing the face shields. The face shields are rising in popularity as they not only allow employees and customers to see each other’s faces, unlike with cloth masks, but they also reduce face touching often caused by cloth masks and are easy to clean and sanitize.