‘It’s frustrating’: RI business struggles to get by as federal aid dries up

Business News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ G-Form, a Rhode Island-based company that manufactures and sells protective sports equipment, has shifted its entire business model to keep its doors open during the coronavirus pandemic.

CEO Glen Giovanucci said the staff at G-Form’s North Smithfield facility is now producing thousands of face shields for front-line workers in an effort to stem the nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment.

“We’re actually working with five other companies,” Giovanucci said. “Collectively, we’ve probably saved or hired 250 people in Rhode Island through this effort and we’re generating about 30,000 face shields a day.”

Giovanucci said the shift in production cost double what he anticipated. He was hoping to receive financial relief through the Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program which he would use to support the company through the transition.

But the funds dried up before G-Form could benefit from the program.

“It’s frustrating. Hopefully, the government passes new legislation and there’s more funding — then all of us can get help and, you know, keep our businesses afloat,” Giovanucci added.

While manufacturing the face shields has allowed G-Form to keep its doors open, the company is still struggling. Giovanucci said with all sports canceled for the foreseeable future, his company has had nowhere to sell the products it’s known for.

If the company doesn’t receive federal assistance, Giovanucci fears what G-Form’s future may hold.

“Without revenues, it makes it a very difficult process to keep everybody employed so, as you can imagine, it’s imminent if things don’t go the right way,” he said.

Giovanucci said even if sports resume, he fully expects G-Form will lose 40-50% of its expected revenue.

Despite this, he said the company plans to continue producing face shields for front-line workers so America isn’t relying on other countries during these unprecedented times.

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