NWI lawmakers highlight online marketplace offering PPE help to small businesses, nonprofits

Posted by: Randy Spieth  | Friday, May 15, 2020

STATEHOUSE (May 15, 2020) – Local small businesses and nonprofits can now utilize the state's new online marketplace to request personal protective equipment.

State Rep. Michael Aylesworth (R-Hebron) 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. The marketplace anticipates being able to ship more protective gear in the coming weeks.

"Small businesses in our communities are doing what they can to open their doors while keeping customers and staff safe," Aylesworth said. "To reopen, some industries must have PPE on hand. The state marketplace is an additional resource as we continue moving through the phases to get back on track."

Launched by the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the Small Business PPE Marketplace serves as a secondary source for ordering Hoosier-made supplies. Currently, there is no charge but the IEDC said that could change depending on multiple factors.

"As one of the top states for business, Indiana will continue supporting employers and employees," said State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie). "Our work is far from done, and this is just one resource Hoosier businesses can turn to for help."

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

"Our small-business owners are turning to every available resource to survive this challenging time," Soliday said. "The state's marketplace can help Hoosiers businesses stay on track to reopen during these upcoming weeks if they need assistance securing PPE. These supplies can protect their customers, employees and the public."

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. At times, partial or delayed fulfillment of requests may occur.

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

Additionally, the Indiana Manufacturers Association started an online supply listing where Hoosier companies can order PPE for employees as they begin reopening. Those producing personal protective equipment can also be listed on the database. Visit www.indianamfg.com for more information.


State Rep. Michael Aylesworth (R-Hebron) represents House District 11,
which includes portions of Lake and Porter counties. 
here for a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) represents House District 20,
which includes portions of LaPorte and Starke counties.
 here for a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) represents House
District 4, which includes a portion of Porter County. 
here for a high-resolution photo.