By Jessica Mathews/

A statewide platform aims to connect local employers and others across the state with PPE producers and suppliers as non-essential businesses begin to re-open.

With efforts to re-engage Michigan’s economy underway through recent executive orders signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Pure Michigan Business Connect program through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has developed a portal specifically designed to support the personal protective equipment (PPE) needs of Michigan businesses as they start the process of re-opening. The Governor said they want to ensure they’re opening up in a way that is safe, smart and does not undo the progress made in flattening the curve of COVID-19. She said through the Procurement Platform, they can help employers access the PPE they need to ensure their employees feel safe returning to work, while also supporting Michigan businesses that will be critical to economic recovery efforts.

At a press conference, Whitmer said as restaurants look to re-engage, now is the time to make sure they’re learning and studying the proper protocols and have everything they need to keep their workforce and customers safe. The Governor noted the protocols have been in practice in Regions 6 and 8 in northern Michigan for a little while now so perhaps owners can talk with those businesses and if there are lessons to be learned then they can deploy them. Whitmer said no one wants to be the ground zero where COVID-19 makes a big increase again and she knows business owners want to get it right. She said the protocols are easy to access and hopes people will avail themselves of that. For small businesses that are seeking to get the PPE they need, she stated that can be done through Pure Michigan Business Connect.

Through the free PMBC COVID-19 Procurement Platform, a team will work to connect businesses in need of access to PPE – including face masks, face shields, gloves, goggles and other materials as necessary to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers – with Michigan businesses that have supplier capacity to meet that demand. The online portal can be accessed through the provided web link and is open to companies of all sizes and industries and is available for all scales of PPE demand. An attached press release also contains more information.