USA Small Business PPE Consortium Conference 2020

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Be sure to join us on-site or virtually for this important event.

Building Virginia's Small Business Capacity to Respond to Pandemics and other Complex Emergencies. 

Participate On-Site or Virtually from any location

22 October 2020

Old Ox Brewery

44652 Guilford Drive #114

Ashburn, Virginia 20147

Please follow the registration link and respond if you will be attending or not by 19 October 2020


Pre-Conference Activities 19 October 2020
OPTIONAL opportunity for virtual participants and presenters to confirm their access and resolve communications issues that could limit participation.

Main Conference 22 October 2020
9:00 a.m - 4:30 p.m.


Session 1: The nature and impacts of pandemics and other emergencies on supply chains with a COVID-19 case Study.

Session 2: The Consortium initiative and how capacity building to the local level in the new paradigm will speed COVID-19 recovery across the Capital Forms and make State Agencies and localities more resilient and responsive.

Session 3: Live formulation of World Health Organization Formulation Hand Sanitizer with technical presentation on the myths and facts on hand sanitizer, wipes and innovative solutions for a continuous supply. Includes live demonstration of innovative solutions to a continuous supply of high quality alcohol wipes for cleaning and disinfecting. Live interactive session.

Session 4: Live virtual factory tour and Technical presentation on personal protective masks and the Virginia based solution for high quality disposable masks – and Beyond! Watch protective masks being manufactured and learn about the specifications, certifications and have your questions answered through this live interactive session.

Session 5:Technical presentation and examples of  Nano sanitizers and facility touch point protection. Learn about this evolutionary solution to reduce the need for continuous manual cleaning through a live interactive presentation.

Session 6: Dialog and Closing. Participate in a live interactive exchange with consortium mebers and other participants.

Also included are a no-host lunch walking tour of the brewery and an after-conference tasting and informal gathering held in the Old Ox Tasking room with optional cigar pairing experience.

Follow the link for the detailed session descriptions with learning objectives and more


Be sure to register or check back for updates on this exciting event!


The event is hosted by the Virginia Hand Sanitizer Consortium and will focus on building Virginia’s capacity in this area as well as its current and future initiatives, including (but not limited to) the U.S. Department of Forestry, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and others to expand capacity and increase emergency response capabilities in multiple Virginia sectors while furthering various bipartisan interests, including agriculture, research, and most specifically, creating jobs in Virginia.

In response to the complex emergency caused by COVID-19, the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, Beer Wholesalers Association, Association of Cider Makers, Wineries Association, and the Manufacturers Association together with participating brewers, cider makers, distillers, wine makers and other participating small businesses formed the Virginia Hand Sanitizer Consortium to produce and provide hand sanitizer. Many of these small business partners donated thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer to Virginia first responders, community groups and others. These selfless community members were increasingly operating their businesses "in the red" and facing closure due to this drain and the various restrictions on businesses and gatherings implemented during the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis. The Center for Applied Innovation, LLC (CAI) provided its expertise to serve as the coordinator for an important initiative to build the sanitizer production capacity while simultaneously keeping these critical small businesses open and Virginian’s employed. The result was a consortium that is growing beyond hand sanitizer and garnering interest from across the United States.

The goal of this event and the consortium’s work is to increase the local capacity for producing sanitizers and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the safety of the public in the event that the import supply chain is disrupted due to global escalation of COVID-19 cases or future complex emergencies. The ultimate objective is to replace as many foreign sources of supply with U.S. manufacturers; shorten supply lines; and create a capability that is resilient and responsive to future complex emergencies in meeting PPE requirements.


  • Explore factors contributing to PPE supply chain failures during COVID-19 and building U.S. Small Business capacity with other approaches to mitigate the potential for recurrences in future complex emergencies.
  • Identify Virginia’s small business needs for economic support and new opportunities for small businesses that demonstrate potential to provide employment opportunities for displaced workers caused by the COVID-19-related business closure.
  • Advance innovative solutions related to creating a supply chain of PPE that could benefit the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Maximize the total benefit for Virginia by coordinating with other programs/funds and prioritizing projects that commit matching funds and/or resources to help our community to endure and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and emerge better prepared to respond to any future complex emergencies including, but not limited to pandemics, natural or man-made disasters.

The Importance of this Initiative to Virginia and the Nation: This initiative is not only vital to Virginia but has a direct link to National Security. The consortium’s scalable model was included in a recent study by the United States Air Force COVID-19 Task Force and is underscored by their comment that: “… the value you [the sanitizer consortium] offer in support of a larger effort is not lost on our team and our final report will likely include your model as a starting point for when the next global crisis arrives.”

Benefits of Attending: According to finding by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy”. Statistically, Small Businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness. The SBA report shows that they account for 44 percent of U.S. economic activity. Small businesses are also essential to the security and defense of the United States. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Small Business Programs, “small business is the foundation of innovation and creativity in our Industrial Base, making up nearly 75 percent of DoD’s prime contractors. And, of the roughly 1.6 million private sector jobs that support national defense, approximately 45 percent belong to small businesses.” Small business failures and reductions not only adversely impact the nation’s socio-economic core, but preserving them and their contributions to both the economy and industrial base are matters of national security.

The Critical Importance of this Event: According to a 2020 report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (NAS) on the impact of COVID-19 on Small Businesses[1],”Small businesses employ almost 50% of American workers” but the results of their study underscore the financial fragility of many small businesses, and how deeply affected they are by the COVID-19 complex emergency. In their sample, which is skewed toward the retail sector, the report found that 43% of businesses were temporarily closed and that employment had fallen by 40%, a shock to America’s small firms that has little parallel since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

From masks to respirators, face shields, and countless other innovations and despite the “life and death” struggle faced, many small business came forward with innovative solutions, re-tooling their processes to be invaluable resources in the fight against COVID-19; among the most value-added were the small to medium-sized breweries, cider-makers, distilleries and wineries that converted or augmented operations to produce hand sanitizer. Many of these businesses completely shut down their income-producing beverage alcohol operations to produce hand sanitizer, of which much was donated to healthcare professionals, first responders and others in need. When major manufacturers (relying largely, if not entirely on overseas supply chains) expended their inventory or shifted priority to service only their most profitable contracts: these small businesses risked their livelihood to fill the gap and save lives.

As the market is now being flooded with inexpensive and mostly imported sanitizer and other PPE of lower quality or price, these industries now face yet another “fight for business life” challenge. Agencies at the State and Federal level, which once called on and once relied heavily upon these small businesses as a “COVID-19 lifeline”, have now turned their back on these small businesses in favor of purchasing from “the low bidder”. This change in the market has left some in worse financial condition than if they had not answered the call for help. If the pandemic worsens, or when the next complex emergency arises, these Small Businesses may not be available or may no longer be able to help.

Your participation in this event is an important first step in Virginia emerging from the current complex emergency better able to handle future ones.