To Miguel Álfaro, owner of the restaurant My cute Guanajuato in East Los Angeles, the personal protective equipment and COVID tests he received for free through the program Safer at Workhelped him prevent the spread of the virus among his workers and not close again.
“They helped us financially, which is the main thing,” says Álfaro, who was forced to close for two months by the pandemic, when he had just opened his business in March 2020.
Even more difficult was that he could not qualify for government aid, and thus overcome the economic crisis that covid brought him, because his restaurant was new.
“The savings are gone. We had to borrow money from other people. And when they gave the order to open, the clientele we had was very few, and we could only sell to go.”
the owner of My cute Guanajuatosays that with everything against them, they are getting ahead.
During the videoconference “How small businesses in Los Angeles stay safer at work”, the role of the program was announced Safer at Work for businesses, employees, consumers, and communities to stay as safe as possible while restoring the local economy.
In association with PPE UniteLos Angeles County businesses are eligible to receive supplies from PPE(personal protective equipment) free, including rapid covid-19 test kits, N95 masks and hand sanitizer.
Kelly LoBianco, director of the organization LA County Workforce Development Aging and Community Services (WDACS), said they launched the program Safer at Work in November 2020 to disseminate health information to the public.
This is how they managed to reach more than 7,650 businesses, going door to door in the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
“Safer at Workis a county-wide response initiative to health and economic challenges, working with businesses, employees and customers to keep them afloat during the pandemic.”
He specified that more than 700,000 people lost their jobs, and some 10,000 businesses suffered to keep their doors open or avoid closing them permanently.
“It hasn’t been easy, but we are certainly on the road to recovery, and we need to keep our community safe.”
He said that on the website: [email protected] You can find resources like posters and graphics to help Angelenos practice safe behavior during this pandemic.
“We continue to support businesses and their employees by providing them with access to personal protective equipment such as antibacterial gel, face shields and surgical masks. We have distributed more than 51 million to 66,000 businesses to keep workers and customers safe and doors open.”
Interested businesses can call 833-773-8648.
Jay Tsa, co-founder of PPE Unitethe initiative launched in partnership with the County of Los Angeles, the State of California and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to distribute rapid testing and protective equipment to small businesses and organizations, said they have protected more than one million workers.
He indicated that 61% of the businesses they have supported are minority owned, 40% are owned by women, 65% were micro-businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
Tova Mac, also co-founder of PPE Unitesaid protective gear played a critical role in preventing the spread of COVID in the county’s small businesses when stores were out of stock.
“To keep small businesses operating, we went door-to-door in East Los Angeles and to community events to provide, in addition to masks, antibacterial gel, face shields, testing kits for workers so they could take the exams right there. ”.
He said they want workers to feel safe because when they get sick, small businesses suffer and go out of business.
“Our mission is to provide resources for them to stay safe at work, and ask them what else they need.”
For information, you can visit the page https://www.ppeunite.org
Protection for employees and families
Sandra Vasquez, manager of Legacy Tree Caresaid PPE Unite it has helped them protect their employees and families.
“Their help came at a time when we needed it most, because getting masks was almost impossible at a certain point.”
Legacy Tree Care is a landscape design business that has been collecting fallen trees and providing maintenance since 2008.
“None of our 28 employees got sick with Covid, but we constantly made sure they were wearing masks, washing their hands and maintaining social distance.”
Ely Valdivia, small businesswoman earthy hearta natural body care business, said online sales really helped it in 2020, though it’s best to sell in a marketplace where people can go and see your products. However, sales in person exposed her to covid.
It was a friend who told her about PPE, and through them, she was able to pick up a month’s worth of covid protective gear.
“It was more than enough to use during my public events like hand sanitizer, and covid tests so I didn’t have to waste time with appointments.”