Indiana's online marketplace offers PPE help to small businesses, nonprofits

Posted by: Andi TenBarge  | Tuesday, May 26, 2020

STATEHOUSE (May 26, 2020) – Local small businesses and nonprofits can now utilize the state's new online marketplace to request personal protective equipment, according to Hamilton County lawmakers.

"Our small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities across the state," State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) said. "As many reopen, they must also meet certain requirements, which could include PPE, to help protect their employees and the public."

Cook said as businesses resume operations, those unable to source and procure PPE on their own can go online to backontrack.in.gov/ppemarketplace.htm to order masks, face shields and hand sanitizer. While the first round of available PPE has been reached, small businesses can still place orders online. House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said the marketplace anticipates being able to ship more protective gear in the coming weeks.

"Communities around the state depend on the goods and services provided by small businesses, and as they reopen, personal protection equipment will be used to keep both employees and patrons safe," Huston said. "Obtaining items like face masks and sanitizer can be difficult, and the online marketplace is a good alternate source."

Launched by the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the Small Business PPE Marketplace serves as a secondary source for ordering Hoosier-made supplies. State Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville) said currently there is no charge but that could change depending on multiple factors.

"Local employers are facing the challenge of remaining open while ensuring staff and customers stay healthy," Goodrich said. "I encourage our small businesses to act swiftly to evaluate their situation and request PPE from this marketplace if they cannot acquire it on their own."

Businesses must be registered in Indiana with the Secretary of State's Office, employ fewer than 150 people, and require PPE to reopen and comply with workplace safety requirements. State Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) said examples of eligible businesses include restaurants, retail sales, personal services and office environments.

"These companies employ more than 900,000 Hoosiers across our state," Schaibley said. "It is critical they continue operating, and do so in a responsible and safe way by utilizing personal protection equipment."

According to the IEDC, all requests will be evaluated and fulfilled based on work environment risk profile, stock availability and the number of outstanding requests. State Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel) said at times, partial or delayed fulfillment of requests may occur.

"This new marketplace can help support employers as they adjust to this current situation," Torr said. "We know doing business will look different moving forward, but we also know Hoosiers are resilient and will conquer obstacles that may come their way as they navigate this pandemic."

To learn more, visit backontrack.in.gov/ppemarketplace.htm.

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State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32, which includes all of Tipton County and portions of Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.

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State Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville) represents House District 29,

which includes portions of Hamilton County.

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House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) represents House District 37, 
which includes portions of Hamilton County.
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here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) represents House District 24,
which includes portions of Boone and Hamilton counties.

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State Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel) represents House District 39, 
which includes portions of Hamilton County.
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here to download a high-resolution photo.