Press Release

Tuesday, May 26

AWB Launches Website to Help Washington Get Back to Business

Rebound and Recovery site includes directory with ‘Made in Washington’ personal protective equipment, plus a toolkit to guide businesses as they reopen

OLYMPIA – The Association of Washington Business announced a new website today aimed at helping Washington businesses safely welcome back employees and customers.

The website, located at www.reboundandrecovery.org, features an online portal to connect Washington businesses with ‘Made in Washington’ manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE), plus a toolkit for small businesses to help prepare their physical spaces for reopening and assist in communicating new health and safety protocols with employees and customers.

The site is free to use and available to all Washington businesses.

“As more counties move to Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start plan and as more parts of Washington’s economy come back to life, we know employers will need help locating personal protective equipment like face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer,” said AWB President Kris Johnson. “This is both an urgent need and, we expect, an ongoing need as we adjust to a ‘new normal.’ So, we wanted to make it easy for employers to not only find the PPE they need, but also make it easy to support Washington manufacturers of these products. The PPE Connect portal is designed to do just that — connect Washington businesses with Washington manufacturers of PPE.”

At launch, approximately 40 Washington manufacturers are listed in the database, making items such as face masks, face shields, gowns, and hand sanitizer. The number of manufacturers and types of products is expected to grow. Washington manufacturers wishing to be included in the database are invited to submit information at www.bit.ly/awbppeform.

In addition to the PPE Connect portal, the website includes a business toolkit geared toward small and medium-sized businesses. The toolkit contains downloadable, customizable templates that employers can use to create everything from a Safe Work Plan and store signage to social media content and physical distancing floor stickers.

“This is intended to be a very practical, useful tool for small businesses that aren’t sure where to go to find out what procedures and practices they need to implement, or how best to communicate the steps they have taken to their employees and customers,” Johnson added.

The website is the result of AWB’s Rebound and Recovery Task Force, a group of nearly three dozen business leaders from diverse industries and locations throughout the state, along with state Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown and Employment Security Commissioner Suzi LeVine. The task force is led by co-chairs Michelle Hege, president and CEO of DH, a public relations, advertising and branding agency based in Spokane; and Tim Schauer, CEO of MacKay Sposito, an infrastructure and development consulting firm based in Vancouver. The website, including the PPE Connect portal, was built by SiteCrafting, a Tacoma-based full service digital agency.

“I want to thank the members of the AWB Rebound and Recovery Task Force for recognizing the urgent needs facing Washington businesses, and SiteCrafting for moving quickly to create this tool,” Schauer said. “We hope and believe it will be useful for Washington employers, especially smaller businesses that can’t buy PPE in bulk. The PPE Connect portal allows businesses to connect with Washington manufacturers and purchase items by the hundreds or thousands versus tens of thousands or millions.”

Hege said the toolkit gives small businesses a road map to navigate this difficult time. “Many of our small businesses are days or weeks away from not being able to open at all,” she said. “The toolkit is designed to equip businesses with the information they need to safely reopen their doors, and to communicate how they are taking action to protect their workers and customers so they can build public confidence. We know life can’t return to ‘normal’ for a while, so we need to find ways to adapt and create new, safe ways of opening stores and getting Washington back to work.”

For more information, visit www.reboundandrecovery.org.


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