‘BUY Local’ when sourcing personal protective equipment (PPE) is the message from Warwickshire County Council (WCC).
As more shops, restaurants, hairdressers and other town centre businesses re-open, WCC is encouraging local businesses to get their PPE from local suppliers.
Since the start of the pandemic, many Warwickshire firms have started producing new PPE related products and services.
The message is part of a wider campaign encouraging all residents to Buy and Eat Local – helping local business support their suppliers, staff and families.
If every person in Warwickshire spent £5 per week in the county, this would be worth around £122million annually to the local economy say WCC.
WCC leader Izzi Seccombe said: “We have many fantastic local firms now supplying a wide range high quality PPE. As businesses continue to ensure customers and staff remain safe, we hope as many firms as possible will source their PPE from local suppliers to boost our local economy, and support our local businesses.”
Local firms which have started producing PPE products include Stratford -based gin maker Shakespeare Distillery, which now also produces hand sanitiser alongside its regular distillation of gin, by re-purposing an area of the distillery.
The product follows the World Health Organisation formula containing 80 per cent alcohol, and is being supplied in 300ml and five litre bottles.
Peter Monks, owner of Shakespeare Distillery, said: “Our first deliveries of the hand sanitisers have now been produced and delivered, and we wanted to prioritise those who need it most, particularly in our local area.
“Now that key community groups, NHS staff and local businesses have started receiving orders, we are producing sanitisers for people across the wider region from all industries. We hope these sanitisers can help in some way to help these different people and groups to stay safe during these difficult times.”
And Rugby based Autins, which makes acoustic and thermal solutions for the automotive industry, has diversified into manufacturing face coverings.
Using special filtration technology their masks offer protection against dust, pollen and aerosol from coughs and sneezes. Made from the firm’s patented nonwoven micro-fibre Neptune, each mask is water repellent and washable.
Autins’ face masks are currently undergoing testing for Europe-wide certification as a “medical devices.
To help identify businesses based in the area supplying PPE, the CW Chamber Recovery Hub and the ‘Find it in CW’ portal both have helpful lists:
Visit www.cw-chamber.co.uk/covid-19-recovery-hub/ppe-providers/ and www.finditincw.co.uk for further details.