Reopening Kits AvailableJune 27, 2020Contact: Tara Arens
Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2020
HOUGHTON, MI - Organizers of the Keweenaw Safe, Keweenaw Strong Reopening Kits are excited to partner with several new community sponsors to continue the popular program that provides local small businesses and organizations PPE, sanitation supplies and signage to meet state Coronavirus prevention requirements. Sponsorships from Aspirus Health Care, the Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO), and Incredible Bank will allow organizers to provide an additional 50 kits. Area businesses can apply for a free kit by visiting www.keweenaw.org.
The program, organized by local economic development organizations, has so far distributed 150 kits to local small businesses and non-profit organizations thanks to generous financial contributions by Superior National Bank and Koppers, Inc. But demand has exceeded the initial level of financial sponsorships as area businesses were allowed to reopen.
“When we launched the program last month, we hoped to distribute about 100 kits,” explained Jeff Ratcliffe, Executive Director of the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance. “But once we opened the online application, requests from area businesses quickly eclipsed our original goal.”
The program launched in May to assist businesses to reopen meet state safety requirements and best practices. Because of the national demand for supplies like face masks and hand sanitizer was so high, area businesses found it difficult to access the necessary PPE and supplies to safely reopen.
“We understand many businesses had difficulty obtaining necessary supplies to reopen. Many businesses had questions on the required signage for their business as well. We’re grateful to be able to provide this service to our local businesses,” said Tara Arens, Manager of the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce. Each Keweenaw Safe, Keweenaw Strong Reopening Kit contains: 50 count box of 3-ply disposable face masks, 100 count box of Powder Free Food Service Grade Gloves (L), 32 oz bottle of disinfectant spray, 25 oz bottle of hand sanitizer gel, laminated safety signage, floor tape for social distancing markings and digital access to guidance materials for employers.
While the number of coronavirus cases remains low in the Upper Peninsula, businesses are still required by the state to follow face covering and social distancing guidelines issued by the state. “It’s important that our community continue to practice common-sense safety practices like wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing,” said Brad Barnett, Executive Director of the Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Doing so allows us to keep our businesses open and our community safe.”
The Keweenaw Safe, Keweenaw Strong Reopening Kit program is a partnership between the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce, the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) and the Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau. Kits are supplied on a first-come, first serve basis as long as supplies last.