A local group of volunteers and business leaders that have stepped up to help provide free PPE and sanitary supplies to businesses continue to ask for donations as more businesses begin to reopen.
Small Business Care Knox was recently created and is being supported by Marc Nelson Denim, Old Forge Distillery and Dream Institute. The organization has been able to secure donations of sanitizer and face masks to provide to dozen of businesses to ensure they are able to reopen safely under Knox County Health Department protocols, and is asking for more help to do the same for other local businesses.
“We want small business owners, especially those who provide close-contact services, to feel confident they are keeping themselves, their employees and their clients safe,” say Knoxville City Councilmembers, Janet Testerman and Tommy Smith. “Many business owners either can’t find the necessary supplies, or because of financial hardship after being closed for weeks, may not have the resources to afford the necessary equipment.”
In the past few weeks, the organization said they've helped numerous businesses. They are still taking donations to help others as talks begin on the next phase of reopenings.
"Further assistance is that if you have hand sanitizer, wipes, stuff like that, you can drop those off at any Aubrey's location. And that's pretty cool to just keep this thing going because a lot of people are still running out. I don't know what the situation is out there, but I do know is pretty not cool," Christopher Morton with South Coast Pizza said.
Here's how you can help: People can donate supplies such as sanitizer, face masks, cleaning supplies and non-contact thermometers to Aubrey's restaurant locations in Knoxville at Brookvale Lane near Papermill Drive, Emory Road, and Middlebrook Pike at Cedar Bluff.
"We saw a need among local small businesses who’ve been struggling during these challenging times and were able to quickly move to action," said Tennessee State Representative, Rick Staples. “We want to ensure those contributing to our community and economy are able to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”
Businesses needing supplies can pick those up at the five locations below while supplies last:
- Marc Nelson Denim, 700 E Depot Ave, Knoxville, TN 37917
- Dream Institute, 2630 N Broadway, Knoxville, TN 37917
- South Coast Pizza, 1103 Sevier Ave, Knoxville, TN 37920
- The Change Center, 203 Harriet Tubman St, Knoxville, TN 37915
- All Occasions Party Rentals, 5825 Middlebrook Pike, Knoxville, TN 37921