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Utah will provide PPE to small businesses

(Image credit: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — In an effort to help Utah small businesses move more easily into “orange” or “moderate risk” COVID-19 protocols, the state says they will provide a free one-week supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The free PPE will be given to sole proprietors and businesses with less than 50 employees in Utah.

“The ability for businesses to obtain and utilize personal protective equipment for their employees,” said Gov. Gary Herbert in a statement, “is critical in helping Utahns get back to work and stay at work.”

The PPE Push Pack Program will give masks, hand sanitizer, and possibly gloves or other items, to businesses that qualify for the program. Gov. Herbert said that the PPE Push Pack Program is intended as a jump start for small businesses to transition back into a normal routine.

The businesses are expected to line up their own long-term PPE supplies for their future needs.

They’ll be expected to “establish vendor relationships” according to the statement released on Tuesday, “to allow them continued access to PPE going forward.”

The contents of the PPE Push Pack may vary based on the inventory available to the state. Sole proprietors and small business owners will be able to pick up the packs at designated locations in each county.

The state has provided this list of PPE vendors

Noting that The Utah Leads Together plan asks businesses to allow for teleworking wherever possible, Governor Herbert also said the state recognizes that teleworking is not possible for many sectors of business. He says the PPE is crucial to prevent infections in workplaces where employees cannot work remotely. Those include retail, personal care, and hospitality industries.

“This program is a testament to the power of public/private collaboration,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, and chair of the Economic Response Task Force.

“Several Utah organizations have already stepped up and donated to the effort, significantly increasing the State’s capacity to support small businesses in need of PPE resources.

“We encourage large companies that are ordering PPE to donate a portion of their supplies to support small businesses as well.”

The PPE Push Pack program is available to Utah small businesses with fewer than 50 employees whose employees cannot work from home and whose operations were directly impacted by a state or local directive or order.