In the United States, the Coronavirus pandemic is challenging public officials’ ability to source the supplies and services needed to provide critical care to patients and protect medical workers. Currently, state and local governments are facing the possibility of shortages of essential supplies and materials. With many providers being depleted of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for front-line health care workers, as well as crucial cleaning and healthcare supplies, the need for these items has increased tremendously. For example, equipment and services that are being urgently requested include:
- Medial services and equipment
- Health and Wellness supplies
- Cleaning supplies
- Food and Agriculture
- Information Technology
- Education services
- Security and Safety
How Vendors Can Help
With the release of the CARES Act that encompasses $2 trillion in funding in the form of grants, loans and direct payments[i], many public health organizations are receiving billions to help assist with the depletion of personal protective equipment, testing, and other related health services. Public organizations such as, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and a multitude of others are also in need of supplies to assist those in need. With the funding they will receive, assistance will be needed to produce and supply essential equipment and services, including:
- N95 respirators and face masks
- Clothing, gowns/aprons
- Gloves – vinyl, latex, nitrite, & other
- Goggles and face shields
- Sanitization products
- Laboratory testing and equipment
As a result, there will be a substantial increase in bid opportunities coming from public buyers.
State and local governments across the U.S. are also urgently seeking vendors to provide much-needed equipment, supplies and services in their areas.
Below are some examples of these bid opportunities:
- Precaution kits and gloves for New York
- Pharmaceutical preparation supplies in Florida
- Medical and Janitorial Supplies – masks, gowns, gloves, disinfectants in Louisiana
- Nursing supplies in New York
- Ventilators and accessories
Small, Minority, Women, and Veteran-Owned Businesses
The SBA will receive $376 billion in assistance through the CARES Act. Most of this funding will be available to businesses in the form of grants and loans[ii]. In the weeks to come there’s likely to be incentives released for small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses to participate in providing equipment and services to those in need. It will be important to keep a look out to see what new information is being released on bidding opportunities for these vendors.
Moving Forward with Government Opportunities
If you are a business that can provide any of these products or services, do not hesitate to pursue federal, state, and local bid opportunities. In recent weeks, thousands of requests for supplies and services have been posted, creating thousands of bid opportunities for third-party vendors.
By responding to requests from public agencies at all levels, vendors can assist in mitigating the scope of the crisis and help the government maintain critical services during a challenging time.
Andrea Cortina | BidNet.com
[i] “Text - H.R.748 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): CARES Act.” Congress.gov, March 27, 2020. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/748/text.
[ii] Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources. April 16, 2020. https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources.