One-stop resource created for businesses and non-profits to find local personal protection equipment (PPE) vendors - May 11, 2020
A group of organizations has created a resource for area businesses and organizations which want to purchase personal protective equipment related to COVID-19.
The list of local vendors making face masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, gowns, Plexiglas barriers and more can be found at wichitachamber.org/covid-19-suppliers.
While the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce volunteered to host the page on the Wichita Resource Center, the resource has been the work of multiple organizations, including the Chamber, Wichita Independent Business Association (WIBA), Visit Wichita, Non-Profit Chamber of Commerce, Wichita Community Foundation, City of Wichita, Sedgwick County and others. The Wichita Regional Chamber, WIBA, Visit Wichita and Non-Profit Chamber of Service also surveyed their members about ongoing PPE needs.
“As the state began reopening businesses, we knew that some businesses were able to procure the type of equipment they wanted while others were asking for guidance and ideas,” said Gary Plummer, President and CEO of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Working through our weekly task force, we formed a smaller work group to find a solution. This helps our local businesses find needed equipment and supports other local businesses which stepped forward to help meet these new needs.”
Additional local and regional vendors will be added, as well as additional information on existing vendors through outreach from the group.
“We worked quickly to compile this initial vendor list from a variety of sources many of the group had already heard from or knew about, and we’ll keep adding to this as we move through each phase of opening to meet needs because this is vitally important to all our members and businesses,” Susie Santo, President and CEO of Visit Wichita said.
“We quickly surveyed our members because their connection to ongoing PPE needs was an important consideration in opening and ensuring that especially smaller businesses and non-profits can continue to serve their clients,” said Cindy Miles, Executive Director, Non-Profit Chamber of Service.
The work group came out of a group of community organizations working together to address the economic challenges in the Wichita region related to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The COVID-19 Community Task Force is meeting virtually to share information, work together to streamline efforts and find solutions, and organize and initiate efforts for short, mid and long-term economic responses and recovery for individuals and businesses.
The public and private groups represent local, state and federal partners. Each organization continues to lead specific efforts related to missions and roles, with the COVID-19 Community Task Force connecting those efforts.
The COVID-19 Community Task Force was initiated by the groups that came together to form the Aerospace Task Force in January that launched the Air Capital Commitment, with the goal to keep Wichita’s world-class talent affected by the Boeing 737 MAX production suspension.
Additional organizations key to this new economic challenge have been and will continue to be added to the COVID-19 Community Task Force and sub-task forces and work groups. All organizations are also proactively listening and working with their stakeholders to bring issues forward.
Each organization continues to communicate directly with its stakeholders and the general public.
Organizations – public and private groups represent local, state and federal partners
- Child Start/Child Care
- City of Wichita
- Greater Wichita Partnership
- Information Technology Representatives – Cox Communications and High Touch Technologies
- Kansas Department of Commerce
- Kansas Department of Labor
- Kansas Gas Service
- Medical Society of Sedgwick County
- Nonprofit Chamber of Service
- Regional Economic Area Partnership
- United States Representative Ron Estes
- United States Senator Jerry Moran
- United States Senator Pat Roberts
- Sedgwick County
- Sedgwick County Association of Cities
- Small Business Association
- State of Kansas
- United Way of the Plains
- Visit Wichita
- Wichita Community Foundation
- Wichita Independent Business Association
- Wichita Public Schools
- Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Wichita State University
- WSU Tech
- Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas