An East Boston ski manufacturing company that made headlines for using its McClellan Highway factory to produce face shields for frontline healthcare workers was recently awarded a small business grant from Citizens bank.
Eastie-based Parlor Skis was one of 32 small businesses in Massachusetts that each received a $15,000 grant as part of the bank’s Small Business Recovery grant program.
“We are so grateful to receive this grant during these challenging times,” said Mark Wallace, co-founder of Parlor Skis. “Citizens have been a great banking partner for us since the beginning and to see them step up and help their clients like this is wonderful. It helps take a bit of pressure off of us so we can continue to focus on delivering the quality of product and service that we pride ourselves on.”
In April Citizens announced a $5 million commitment to aiding communities through these challenging times, including $4.2 million in support of small businesses in the bank’s service area. As part of this overall commitment, Citizens is awarding 134 direct grants to small businesses.
“These grants will go directly to Massachusetts small businesses, providing them with much needed cash flow and support to help them stabilize amidst the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Jack Murphy, President, Business Banking, Citizens Bank. “Small businesses are the heartbeat of the American economy, and we are committed to providing them with a vital jolt as they battle the economic implications of the pandemic.”
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic Parlor Skis has manufactured and shipped six thousand Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) face shields and has orders for five thousand more. The company has also donated a bunch of the shields to the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and other local nonprofits.
Wallace said it was an easy decision to pause on Parlor’s regular ski manufacturing processes, order the needed materials, and move its focus to supporting the community and beyond.
The 9.5 inch long, 13 inch wide face shields are 7ml in thickness with a foam headband and 1 inch elastic fatner. The shields are available in packs of 10, 25, 50 and 100 and cost $3.50 per shield for those wishing to purchase.
Wallace said Parlor Skis began with his two other friends, Pete Endres and Jason Epstein, in an abandoned funeral parlor in Cambridge. After designing and building three models considered worthy by the three ski racers, Parlor sold an initial run of 25 custom pairs and never looked back.