From Fudge to Face Masks: How Businesses are Adapting During the Coronavirus Pandemic
A health crisis, like the one we’re facing now, can very quickly turn into an economic crisis. Across the country, state governments have taken action in an effort to enforce social distancing. In some states, enforced business closures are taking place, and there’s an across-the-board push for people to stay home. But, as we retreat and self-isolate, many ‘non-essential’ businesses (basically anything other than grocery, gas or medical) are seeing a decrease in customers, and therefore income. Consequently, people are losing their jobs and companies are closing up shop.
So, in a time of chaos, how do we stay afloat? One Texas company says it’s all about adapting.
Sweet Shop USA has been hand-making chocolates for more than 40 years. And, with more than 100 varieties sold at 7,000 retailers nationwide, it’s the largest handmade chocolate manufacturer in the country. But when the entire global population is being told to stay home, chocolate, truffles, fudge and toffee aren’t seen as necessities. So the company was at a crossroads: try to get by, or adapt.
It took the adapt route.
A quarter of the company’s 80,000 square foot facility will now be dedicated to making PVC face masks, called ‘Waymaker Facial Shields’. This way, employees are kept, trained in a new skillset, and given plenty of work. And, it comes at a time when hygiene and safety is of great concern, and more worryingly, healthcare workers are seeing a massive shortage of PPE products. The FDA-approved shields are designed for environments where there’s a high splash risk, like pharmaceutical, laboratory science or manufacturing.
Sweet Shop USA’s Angie Moss told KTBS, “we’re just delighted to be able to help in this wartime effort so to speak. We’re just grateful for the opportunity and just to keep our employees working, pay our bills, and get us through this time. Chocolate is our business and we’re still making chocolate.”
It’s not the only company adapting to the situation:
- an Alabama art studio is offering pick-up art kits,
- a Philadelphia brewery is delivering their beers, and
- a Louisiana specialty grocer is offering prepared meals.
Are you developing an innovative product to help in the global crisis? Your work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses. To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.
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