More than 367 companies have so far responded to the call for medical grade Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), which only went out from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) last week.
And it emerged today (Friday April 17) that 13 firms, including plastics and aerospace companies who have never made PPE gear before, have now been approved as having the potential to start manufacturing the potentially life-saving kit.
A further 57 existing suppliers of PPE have also come forward and been put in contact with the region’s local councils, many of which have been struggling to secure enough equipment for frontline staff such as care home workers and refuse collectors.
As well as public sector workers, other organisations, such as undertakers, continue to report shortages across the West Midlands which is the biggest regional hotspot for coronavirus outside London.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “We only issued our call to arms last week, yet the response from businesses both small and large has been incredible.
“It is another example of how our region is pulling together in this crisis and the willingness of individuals and businesses to step up and join the fight against coronavirus.
“The fact that through this initiative more than a dozen companies have already been identified as having the potential to turn their hand to the manufacturing of PPE is fantastic and once again shows the calibre and innovation of West Midlands industry.
“I would also like to thank all those smaller businesses like nail salons and building companies who have come forward with offers to donate their surplus PPE.”