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Kent County launches program to provide PPE to local employers

The county's board of commissions allocated $2 million to fund the program.
Credit: Unknown

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As part of the Kent County Back to Work initiative, the Kent County Board of Commissioners allocated $2 million of the County’s CARES Act funding to launch a program providing personal protective equipment (PPE), at no cost, to qualifying small businesses and other employers to assist in reopening their operations. 

Available PPE includes eye and face protection, gloves, hand sanitizer and thermometers. 

To qualify, employers must be located in Kent County and must employ 100 people or fewer. 

“We need to focus on getting our economy back on track, making sure employers have what they need to safely reopen and employees feel safe to go back to work,” said Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair, Mandy Bolter. “Our Board listened to countless business representatives who were concerned about the ability to source PPE. We want to remove that roadblock and use the County buying power to help where we can.” 

Qualified employers may place PPE requests beginning today, either online or by calling the PPE fulfillment center at 616-245-3636 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Calls will be taken in English or Spanish. 

All qualifying requests received by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, June 4 will be entered into a random selection process. 

The first-round selection will take place on Friday, June 5, and the fulfillment center will begin filling requests on that date. 

All qualified employers selected in the first-round selection process will be contacted after their requests are selected and filled, and they will be told where they can pick-up their order. Requests not picked up by employers within 5 business days of notification will be returned to inventory. 

The program will continue accepting employer requests and running daily random selection process as long as program funding is available. 

If an employer is not selected in the initial drawing, they will remain eligible either until they are selected or until funding is no longer available. 

“Organizations across the country have been scrambling to get PPE,” said Kent County Administrator/ Controller, Wayman Britt. “Our purchasing team has been working for months to ensure that our community’s first responders don’t run short. Now, as our businesses start to reopen and with the CARES Act funding available, we’ve leveraged those supply lines to build an inventory that we can make available to Kent County employers.” 

It is important to note that requests are being received and processed by a third-party fulfillment company. Employers should not contact Kent County or the Kent County Health Department to place or inquire about a request. Applying does not guarantee fulfillment. 

A high demand is expected and not all requests will be fulfilled. Employers are encouraged to visit the Kent County Back to Work website for other potential PPE resources, as well as guidelines and best practices for reopening their operations.



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