Local Success Stories
ST. JULIAN RETOOLS TO MAKE HAND SANITIZER
Market Van Buren is honored to work with St Julian Winery, Michigan's longest, largest, and most awarded winery and distillery. St Julian retooled to make hand sanitizer to both meet the needs of the community and to make an impact in the community. We are proud to work with such a great company and can't wait to see what they come up with next!
BARBER PACKAGING RETOOLS TO MAKE ONE MILLION FACE SHIELDS
When the State of Michigan knocked, Barber Packaging answered. The company switched gears from custom packaging to filling the need for local healthcare providers by producing personal protection plastic masks, and was quickly matched with a purchaser through the Pure Michigan Business Connect program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
“Pure Michigan Business Connect’s virtual matchmaking program builds on PMBC’s success in providing supply chain sourcing solutions by supporting critical COVID-19 response efforts, as well as creating opportunities for small and medium-sized Michigan businesses,” said Nick Anderson, Senior Program Specialist at Pure Michigan Business Connect. “We were pleased to work with our partners at Market Van Buren to provide a connection for Barber Packaging, and we thank the company for stepping up to retool and support recovery efforts in this time of need."
In response to COVID-19, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Pure Michigan Business Connect program expanded its free, online procurement platform in March to include donations from suppliers capable of filling health and human service needs across a broad range of product and service categories. The platform provides direct access to businesses within the state providing supplies including personal protection equipment, food, medical devices, paper products, cleaning equipment and more.
“When this pandemic reached our nation, we felt called to stand in the gap. We immediately began looking at several medical industry needs and realized we could retool to make face shields,” said Luke Barber, President of Barber Packaging and Vice Chairman of the Market Van Buren Board. “Now we are producing a needed product. I’d like to think we are doing our part to serve our neighbors.”
Barber Packaging will make over one million face shields over the next month. The project began in earnest on April 13 and has now fully ramped up production.
“As soon as the pandemic reached our shores, Luke and his team wanted to be a part of the solution,” said Zach Morris, Executive Director of Market Van Buren.
“Barber’s strong leadership paired with the ingenuity of the Pure Michigan Business Connect program is resulting in healthcare workers getting the tools they need.”
Other Van Buren County based businesses are retooling to provide necessary resources for the community. One example of that is St Julian Winery, Michigan’s largest winery, retooled their distillery to produce hand sanitizer. In addition, Do-It Corporation in South Haven has retooled to provide face shields.
Morris said Market Van Buren has been helping local businesses fill out applications for MEDC grants and loan, among several other resources. In addition, he stated that they are working on plans to help companies once the emergency orders are over.
About the MEDC
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.