CITY COUNCIL, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE PARTNER TO DISTRIBUTE MASKS, OTHER PPE SUPPLIES TO HELP NEIGHBORHOOD BUSINESSES RE-OPEN WITH CARE

In Cherelle Parker, Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, Featured by PHL Council

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PHILADELPHIA, PA —  City Council and the City’s Department of Commerce today partnered to provide neighborhood-based businesses across Philadelphia with essential personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies to help businesses safely re-open and welcome customers back during the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Council members and staff gathered at the Pennsylvania Convention Center this morning to assemble up to 10,000 starter kits with PPE supplies and distribute them to neighborhood community development corporations (CDCs), which will in turn deliver them to neighborhood businesses over the next week.

The Pennsylvania Convention Center generously donated the space needed to execute today’s assembly and distribution program safely in accordance with social distancing rules. City Council arranged the funding for this important COVID-19 recovery effort.

“We all want to see our neighborhood small businesses re-open safely,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) “COVID-19 has hit these small businesses particularly hard, and we need to help them get back on their feet again. Part of that is making sure these businesses have the necessary PPE supplies to re-open safely and reassure their customers as well.”

“Philadelphia’s small businesses are the anchors of neighborhoods across our city— providing jobs, goods, and services for residents,” said Sylvie Gallier Howard, Acting Commerce Director. “As more neighborhood businesses and activities resume, it’s important that they necessary steps to keep employees and customers safe and healthy, and we’re proud that this program will provide them with supplies that will them do that.”

Inspiration for the project came from North Broad Renaissance’s (NBR) “Reopened with Care” campaign, launched earlier this summer to help businesses on commercial corridors reopen safely when the Stay-at-Home Order was lifted, with the goal of not only supporting businesses but also restoring consumer confidence by letting people know that businesses are following recommended safety procedures to keep customers safe. The campaign served as the inspiration for the City’s overall plan for moving to the modified Green Phase— Reopening with Care — in an effort to promote a citywide message of safety and accountability for businesses.

Every PPE kit assembled and distributed includes masks, bottles of hand sanitizer, “Reopen with Care” floor decals which urge people to stay six feet apart in retail establishments, informational posters about safe re-openings, and a tote bag holding all of these items. All PPE materials in the kits were procured from local, minority, or women-owned businesses.

For example, Minuteman Press of Philadelphia, locally-owned by Jude Arijaje, printed the decals and the tote bags for the kits. Quick Order Masks of Huntingdon Valley provided hand sanitizer and three-ply single-use masks while the reusable cloth masks were provided by New Normal PPE of Port Richmond.

“This is exactly the kind of collaboration we are going to need to drive post-COVID recovery and equitable growth in Philadelphia: government supporting small businesses and small businesses supporting each other,” Council President Clarke added. “Council intends to continue the dialogue with small businesses and the Department of Commerce so we can stay informed as their needs change over the next several months.”

Local businesses should work through their own CDC, BID, or neighborhood organization to request the kits. If there are additional supplies still available after today’s distribution, the Department of Commerce will identify additional ways to distribute them to neighborhood businesses.

Learn more about this program here. For further assistance regarding reopening your business, contact the Department of Commerce’s Business Services hotline at:

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