Downtown Tucson Partnership, county provide personal protective equipment to local businesses

Organizations provide PPE to downtown businesses

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Local businesses in downtown Tucson are getting help as they try to recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Pima County and the Downtown Tucson Partnership have teamed up to distribute personal protective equipment to downtown businesses.

“We want to make sure if they are choosing to open that they remain safe and have what’s needed to protect them and their clientele,” said Spencer Graves, the Pima County Emergency Operation Center logistics section chief.

Businesses can fill out a form online to receive hand sanitizer, masks and gloves. Supplies that are often hard to come by in the age of COVID-19.

"We are going to be giving them cloth masks, so if they have 10 employees we will give them up to 20 cloth masks so they can be covered for a couple months," Graves said.

He said restaurants will likely receive food-grade gloves and offices will receive latex or vinyl. The downtown businesses are part of a pilot project to learn how much of each supply a business needs based on the number of people it employs. The county hopes to eventually expand and help more businesses.

"The Downtown Tucson Partnership is about 300 or so businesses that are under 50 employees," he said. "If we look at greater Pima County, that goes up to 12,000 businesses so we need to be able to scale accordingly."

Graves said the county wants businesses to try their best to get supplies through other methods as well. Businesses who receive PPE through this program aren't allowed to resell it. The county is also offering businesses information on potential COVID-19 test kits, he said.

Thursday is the deadline for downtown businesses in the Business Improvement District to apply for supplies. Business owners can find a link to the application form, here.

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