A new online marketplace is looking to make life a little easier for the buyers and suppliers of personal protective equipment.
As of August, Statistics Canada was reporting more than 70 per cent of Canadian businesses said they would need PPE in order to keep their doors open and Supply and Protect is looking to help.
"I've heard time and time again from various businesses and CEOs, especially some of the small and medium businesses that don't have sophisticated purchasing departments, that it's such a fragmented market," said Supply and Protect CEO Amber French. "So they might need eight to ten products to be able to open their businesses safely be it masks or gloves or hand sanitizers, wipes, barriers and they're having to go to eight or ten different distributors or manufacturers to get it."
French said the marketplace brings all those things together in a one-stop shop.
"On the other hand we have all these great Canadian manufacturers who are now producing PPE at scale," said French. "Because this wasn't their main line of business beforehand their sales tend to be quite regional, they don't have the efficient sales and marketing channels and distribution channels in place."
Over 40 Canadian manufacturers and distributors are already participating and French said the list is growing daily. She said the products are all pre-vetted and, because they're all Canadian, they meet Canadian regulations.
"There's been a lot of challenges as far as counterfeit products on the market go, it really helps to cut back and make sure we're providing quality products."
French said she expects the number of products to keep growing as more businesses sign-on and they're also adding services as well.
"We're working on a couple of great partnerships where we would be able to provide companies with an option to privately test their employees on an ongoing basis," French said. "There are some new, rapid COVID tests that are in development so we're definitely watching and having some conversations on the horizon with those."
"Even things that go hand-in-hand with occupational health and safety - that's changed a little bit," she said. "So providing leads to companies that can provide occupational health and safety training, pandemic preparedness and return-to-work consulting, things like that."
Supply and Protect was launched with former CBC Dragon David Chilton as a partner.