Monthly Archives June 2020

While many businesses have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, other businesses have found an opportunity to change their normal operations to help those in need. As a nation we have witnessed great shifts in production to help meet demands. Car manufacturer production lines have cranked out ventilators for hospitals. College students have repurposed 3D printers to make face shields for front line workers. Liquor distilleries have forgone producing their normal “spirits” and in exchange are bottling thousands of bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 

Black Hat has been privileged to witness, and be a part of, some of these fantastic shifts. Industries that have never had a need for masks or gloves or disinfectant sprays and wipes are now looking for a way to keep their employees safe as they return to work. We’ve been able to help supply hand sanitizer to businesses thanks to a local mat manufacturer who shifted its production model and created a new product to help meet demand. Because of our broad connections, we have helped a local non-profit organization with gloves and sanitizer so that they can safely continue to serve their mission helping area homeless. Supplying companies with reusable masks for their employees has been possible for us in part because companies such as WestPoint Home shifted gears in several their textile production factories and began making masks to help during this crisis.

Every ship’s captain must know when to trim the sails, change course, and jettison excess baggage. This pandemic has caused us all to have to reengineer how we approach daily life. What we once knew to be “normal” may never be the same again. We must all think outside the box, adapt, and collaborate more than ever before. Black Hat Enterprises’ concierge approach to supply solutions was designed for such a time as this. We are problem solvers, rethinkers and solution seekers. We are lean and keen, able to help companies pivot and adapt to the incredible change around us. Let us apply the breadth and depth of our industry knowledge to help you stand firmly at the helm and navigate these unchartered waters.

Read More

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face masks in public settings where compliance with physical distancing measures may be difficult to achieve and maintain. This is key in areas where community- based transmission, such as the workplace, is high. Keep in mind that the primary purpose of a face mask is to reduce transmission rather than protecting oneself from contracting the COVID-19 virus. To help you understand the differences in types of masks available in the marketplace, we have put together a quick reference guide for you.

N-95 Masks – The most recognized and effective face masks.They fit tightly around your face and are designed for single use. They filter out 95% or more of the smallest particles in the air.  Because these masks are surgical grade and required PPE for most healthcare workers, they are the most difficult to obtain.

Medical Masks –Standard medical grade masks come in a few varieties and filter as much as 60% to 80% of small particles. When worn properly, they can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus by catching droplets when you cough or sneeze. These masks are disposable and designed for one-time use only.

Fabric Masks – A great option for non-healthcare workers. They cover both nose and mouth to minimize the spread of droplets when you cough or sneeze. Some have filter pockets or silver ion technology woven in to destroy odor causing bacteria.  These masks are washable and reusable. Best for everyday use.

We have various mask options available.   Email us and let us help you find the masks ideal for your operational needs! 
Be In The Know on How To Properly Wear Your Masks –Click Here

Read More

Confused about hand sanitizer? What % alcohol is required? What forms are most effective? How do you get full coverage? Here are some things to learn and what steps to take to make sure you meet CDC hand hygiene and sanitation guidelines.

There are two types of alcohol typically used to make hand sanitizer: 

Ethanol is the same kind of alcohol produced in distilleries. It has become more readily available now due to many beer/hard liquor distilleries making this product. 

The second most common type of alcohol used in hand sanitizer is isopropanol, which is the same alcohol used for rubbing and cleaning alcohol in first aid products. 

Proper potency of each is critical to ensure you sanitizer will combat COVID-19. Read your labels carefully. Since ethanol alcohol is more potent, the CDC recommends sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol for proper sanitation whereas with the isopropanol, they recommend 70%+ for proper cleansing strength. 

Hand sanitizers come in foam, liquid or gel. Each are just as effective at proper alcohol potencies, but studies have shown that the liquid and foam versions prove effective 15 seconds after application and gel after 30 seconds. Make sure you rub sanitizer into your palms, up/down/in-between fingers (don’t forget your thumb!), on top of your hands, and under your fingernails too. Let it fully dry and you are good to go!

Read More

For home use gloves are only recommended for those cleaning or caring for someone who is sick. In most other situations, like running errands or shopping, gloves are not necessary and in fact, when not used properly, can spread germs more so than if you were not wearing gloves at all.

In the workplace however, gloves are sometimes a necessity and often a requirement. So which gloves should you choose to keep yourself and your staff safe?

Disposable, medical-grade gloves are the recommended types of gloves to use for COVID-19 protection both in the workplace and when cleaning or caring for someone who is sick. Medical grade gloves are made from polymers such as latex, vinyl, or nitrile. All offer a level of protection to the wearer if used properly; however, choosing which type depends both on personal preference, as well as the environment in which they are being worn. Depending on their application, some people prefer the looser fit of the vinyl gloves, while others lean to the “second skin” feel of the latex or nitrile. 

Vinyl gloves are made from synthetic materials. They are the least expensive latex-free gloves and show the lowest allergy rate. Vinyl gloves offer excellent protection in low risk applications, but because they can puncture and tear more easily, they are not recommended for jobs that have potential high transmission rates (i.e. medical facilities).
Latex gloves are made of natural rubber. They are the most widely used gloves since they provide the best elasticity, fit and overall comfort. Latex gloves offer excellent protection against bacteria and viruses; however, they are not the best choice for use with many chemicals and petroleum-based products. Additionally, nearly 1 in 6 people have a latex allergy and cannot use latex gloves. 

Nitrile gloves are made from synthetic rubber and are the top choice for many individuals, due to their durability and their low allergy rate. They work well for high-risk situations involving infectious materials. Nitrile gloves are also an excellent choice for long-term wear applications such as in factories or in warehouses.

It’s super important to offer multiple sizes to your employees, because one size does not fit all! Proper fit is critical, as is frequent glove changing. And remember to have plenty of soap on-hand so employees thoroughly wash their hands before and after wearing gloves.

Reach out and let’s find the right fit for you! For more details about CDC glove guidelines, click here.

Read More

Recently, Heather Holbrook, Director of Program Development at Oak Meadow Montessori School in Lawrenceville, GA joined our dynamic team to help expand our reach and support to educational institutions. Little did she know how perfect her timing would be. By original design, Black Hat is a hospitality supply company, however we have embraced the opportunity before us to help schools source the necessary items to successfully operate during the Covid-19 pandemic. Because of Heather’s intimate involvement in the Montessori community for the last 13 years, she understands not only the basic items needed for any school to operate, but also some of the unique supply challenges Montessori schools face.  

With the long list of health and safety compliance requirements schools must follow now to open classrooms during the pandemic, demand for Covid-19 items is not going to go away any time soon. Consequently, the supply chain is going to continue to be limited. Because we work factory-direct, Black Hat usually has the inside scoop on when items will become available. Better yet, unlike most online and big box retailers, you do not have to wait for items to become in-stock on the shelves to place an order with Black Hat. The best thing for schools to do now is to get in the back-order queue so to be served far ahead of those who are just waiting for items to be restocked on the shelves. Most orders placed on back order can be cancelled at any time before it ships, so if we were to find a windfall of supplies elsewhere, we can always cancel the order. We monitor the status of all of our orders daily so we can keep you in the know about your supply purchases during this crazy time.

Hot items on the Back to School Supply List includes:

PPE Supplies: We have access to all PPE supplies including adult masks, pediatric masks, face shields, touchless thermometers, latex, and nitrile gloves. 

Hand Sanitizer: We have access to plenty of hand sanitizer. Our current inventory is comprised of 8-ounce pump bottles sold in a case of 24 bottles. Great for front desk or in the classrooms.

Janitorial Supplies: We have the janitorial supplies needed to properly clean, disinfect, and sanitize work areas. We know which cleaning materials are EPA approved and acknowledged to fight the Covid-19 virus. We also have access to disinfectants that are naturally derived, so they are safer to use in a school setting. If you have linens to wash, now more than ever it matters what kind of detergent you use.

Disinfecting equipment: Electrostatic sprayers have become a popular choice for schools to disinfect both the classrooms, as well as common and playground areas. We can also supply your school with touchless soap and sanitizer units.

Office, Breakroom, and Classroom Supplies: Yes, have those too!

Aprons: Cobbler Aprons are popular in the classroom setting. We can supply you with both adult and child size aprons in a variety of colors. These are quick shipped direct from the manufacturer.

Disposables: Many of the school systems have mandated the use of disposable food service items. We can provide these items as well. We even have access to products that are 100% recycled so that environmentally conscious schools can feel better about using disposables.

As the landscape continues to shift and change during this pandemic, Black Hat’s concierge approach allows us to be flexible and responsive to the changing needs of our clients. We love to think outside the box and offer up creative solutions to challenges. Our relationships with suppliers allow us to get you preferred placement in the queues for high-demand supplies. We are champions for education and are excited to be in the trenches with school administrators and educators to get children and teachers safely back in their classrooms. Call and ask for Heather!

Read More