Small business owners came to The News-Review Monday to pick up personal protective equipment that was being distributed by the Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board.
“We bought tons of sanitizer this year,” said Dora Standley, owner of Classic Cuts in Winston. She estimated she spent about $300 to $500 on disinfectants this year.
On Monday, she received a kit, several boxes of hand sanitizer, and boxes of disinfectant wipes. Each business owner received a kit containing a contactless thermometer, sanitizer spray, gloves and masks.
“This will help us out a lot,” Standley said. “I can’t believe it. There’s four of us in the salon and we’ll divide this up.”
Julie Jeanmard, owner of Julie K Bridal in Roseburg, also expressed appreciation for the free supplies.
“Small businesses were hit hard,” she said. “A lot of this stuff is hard to get. Sanitizing wipes are important, but it’s hard to find the wipes.”
Kyle Stevens, the executive director of Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board, anticipated the supplies at the newspaper offices could help about 120 business owners. Another supply giveaway took place Monday at South Umpqua Rentals in Myrtle Creek.
“We see a lot of small business owners,” Stevens said. “I think they’re tired of paying for it. And some of the supplies are hard to find. You couldn’t find wipes anywhere for a while.”
Materials were bought by Business Oregon with the initial COVID-19 relief bill. The workforce investment board distributed those materials in Coos, Curry and Douglas counties.
Stevens and Alane Jennings, the apprenticeship coordinator, handed out the materials in Roseburg.
In total there were 19 pallets full of supplies to be given away in Roseburg, including about 8,200 packets of wipes, 600 gallons of hand sanitizer. A total of 225,000 masks would be distributed to businesses in Douglas County.
Jennings said there had been a slow and steady stream of business owners. By noon, the organization had given away supplies to about 75 businesses.