A 600 employee fitness equipment company based in Columbus, Ohio seized the opportunity to reach out to the many people suffering from job loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Rogue Fitness announced it was hiring 100 new employees and increasing wages temporarily by $2/hour.
Why? Because Rogue Fitness realized that they had the capacity and capability to provide for the increased demand in medical and personal protective equipment needed to provide for the needs of the workers on the front lines of battling COVID-19.
The company purchased 3D printers to make parts and is altering its supply chain to focus on different materials. They have had to pause online orders to keep up with demand. Full production of masks has begun, and other products will follow. They eventually hope to make ventilators.
Rogue’s support for Columbus and the state of Ohio does not stop there. The company has placed orders for up to 500 meals from local restaurants for its employees and plans to do this for at least 2 weeks in efforts to support the restaurant industry which is also suffering.
In a Facebook Live event, Governor Ricketts discussed the notion of small business flexibility and highlighted Nebraska businesses looking at new business delivery models and exploring ways they can produce goods in high demand by the public like hand sanitizer.
Stories like these are why entrepreneurs are so important. They recognize an unmet need, and they step up to meet that need. In the process, they create jobs and work to support their communities. I’m excited to see the creativity that’s on the horizon!