Local Business Provides Metal for Home Repairs and Protective Equipment During Pandemic

Todays News

BY BRITTANY MATTIE SRQ DAILY WEDNESDAY PHILANTHROPY EDITION WEDNESDAY JUN 3, 2020

Whether it’s a result of having significantly more available time on their hands, or a desire to be productive and stay busy while out of a job, many homeowners reported finally being able to undertake a list of much-needed home repairs and house projects while sheltering during the pandemic. 

With home improvement stores able to remain open during major shutdowns—being designated as essential retailers—supply stores like Metal Supermarkets reported the noticeable influx in business. Carrying a myriad of metal shapes, precision cuts, shears or punches to customer’s exact specifications, in all different rare/exotic metals, Metal Supermarkets also saw hobbyists seeking parts for DIY projects such as artwork, furniture design, fence building, or automotive restoration such as repairing race cars, trailers, bikes and boats. According to store owner Stanley Kinnett, many customers were already professional welders, building contractors and engineers in various industries including marina and restaurant, and have found themselves, like many, laid off when the pandemic hit at the local level.  They purchased metal materials and supplies so they could continue to build and sell things on their own—such as smokers, grills and welding tables to make money while being out of their job.  

Throughout this time, the supply store has also been providing 24/7 service to customers requiring metal for frontline and emergency services. If a company or individual needed metal to produce critical items such as personal protective equipment, ventilators or other forms of frontline support, the Kinnetts were available round-the-clock to help. So far, they’ve supplied metal to many essential businesses including hospitals, fire departments, police stations, other hardware stores and Costco. Additionally, Metal Supermarkets—normally used to preparing large slabs/sheets of metal for big projects—were challenged with the prospect of providing a tiny nose piece for protective face shields (3 inches long and about a half-inch wide) on its 10-ft wide sheer machine. Operations Manager, Nick Kinnett, cut each one individuallyat least 1,000 or moreto supply Sarasota-Manatee COVID Response Team the metal piece to make face shields for frontline workers in the two counties.  

According to Stanley, Metal Supermarkets Sarasota experienced a 98 percent increase in sales in March and April this year, over the same period in 2019. He runs the local supply store with his wife and son Nick, but the family of metal masters recently had to hire additional staff members to accommodate the extra business they are experiencing. “It’s certainly been a challenge remaining open,” said Stanley. “But we feel incredibly fortunate we were considered essential during this time to stay open.”

Pictured: Stanley and Nick Kinnett.

Metal Supermarkets, 1195 Tallevast Rd., Sarasota, 941-313-2590.

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