A Birmingham manufacturer has been helping in the battle to produce personal protective equipment after securing a new funding deal worth more than £2 million.
Tyseley-based Forward Industrial has imported and supplied five million units of PPE.
The company specialises in sourcing, manufacturing and supplying fastener components and PPE to sectors such as automotive, aerospace, telecommunications and healthcare.
The business has used £2.4 million in new funding to maintain supplier payments and support cashflow during the coronavirus crisis as well as to help purchase higher volumes of PPE from its suppliers.
It said that, since the start of the pandemic, the company had seen a 80 per cent increase in demand for PPE and worked with firms in China, India and Taiwan to supply four million civilian-use face masks to customers across the UK and Europe.
As a supplier to hospital procurement sites across the UK, the business also completed an NHS order of one million face visors during the peak of the pandemic.
Martyn Cleaver, owner of Forward Industrial, said: “As a large importer and supplier to the UK and European manufacturing markets, we have developed excellent relationships with our suppliers across Asia.
“We were able to call on our suppliers at what was and still is an uncertain time to increase imports of critical PPE and provide our customers and the NHS with extra protection.”
The new funding was provided by HSBC UK, with almost £1 million allocated through the government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
West Midlands director Suzy Verma added: “We’re committed to supporting our customers during this period of uncertainty.
“As a city, Birmingham has such great industrial heritage and is a leading centre of manufacturing trade.
“We’re delighted to support Forward Industrial, one of the city’s great manufacturers, as it looks to meet increased demand for its products.”