Wolf Administration Applauds Philadelphia Business for PPE Development, Focus on Protecting Marginalized Communities

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin highlighted the efforts of Grant BLVD, a Black-owned, woman-owned sustainable and ethical apparel brand, that pivoted its production to make face masks in response to the state’s critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE) through DCED’s Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal (MCAP), which mobilized manufacturers producing COVID-19-related products and supplies or could pivot to producing COVID-19-related supplies.

“Grant BLVD is a business that represents what is best about Pennsylvania—our can-do spirit and commitment to community,” said Sec. Davin. “With their focus on philanthropy and support for the marginalized during one of the most difficult and unprecedented times we have ever faced, this company has significantly impacted the lives of countless Pennsylvanians.”

Grant BLVD is listed on DCED’s Business-2-Business Interchange Directory (B2B). As of the end of July 2020, the MCAP received 3,285 submissions for face mask production. The Grant BLVD team began producing face masks in response to the state’s critical need for PPE in mitigating the spread of the coronavirus, and for each purchased mask are donating a mask to their non-profit partner Project HOME—an organization dedicated to empowering individuals to break cycles of poverty and homelessness.

“Grant BLVD is a start-up with a social impact focus, so we had an immediate sense of how significantly the coronavirus would disrupt daily life, particularly for the marginalized,” said Grant BLVD CEO and Founder Kimberly McGlonn. “Knowing just how limited access to personal protective equipment—specifically face masks—would become, we reached out to our partners at Project HOME to assess their needs, then immediately began adjusting operations to ensure our customers could buy and donate masks to our homeless or home insecure neighbors.”

McGlonn is a former high school English teacher committed to fostering conversations around human and civil rights. Part of the company’s mission is to recruit, train, and employ formerly incarcerated women and protect the interests of both marginalized individuals and the planet. With a diverse team of talented Philadelphia creatives, Grant BLVD produces one of garments that work to reduce the amount of textile waste that enters the state’s landfills.

Grant BLVD was founded in 2017, launched its website in 2018, and opened its first brick and mortar location in July 2020.

The B2B Interchange was created by DCED to directly connect organizations and businesses searching for COVID-19-related products and supplies and was the third web application developed by the Wolf Administration to serve the critical supply needs for Pennsylvania.

Company and product information provided in the directory is gathered in good faith as a means of connecting Pennsylvania businesses and organizations that are seeking various PPE and other related items to combat the COVID-19 crisis. The information made available is from those entities who voluntarily contacted the commonwealth through the Manufacturing Call to Action Portal or the Pennsylvania Critical Medical Supplies Procurement Portal.

Currently included in the directory are manufacturers of N95 masks, KN95 masks, fabric and other masks, surgical masks, thermometers, hand sanitizer, face shields, medical gowns, and cleaning and disinfectant products. Additional supplies and materials can be added as DCED identifies potential manufacturers. Businesses that would like to be added to the directory or those with questions should contact RA-DCEDPAMCTAP@pa.gov.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the Department of Health website. To receive the latest updates follow the Department of Health on Facebook and Twitter and Governor Wolf on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Casey Smith, DCED, casesmith@pa.gov

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