Firm that sourced 65m pieces of PPE wins award
- Credit: Marr Procurement
A Colchester-based firm has won a Small Business of The Year award for sourcing more than 65 million pieces of PPE and donating all proceeds to charity.
Marr Procurement, founded by Christoph Marr in 2015, saw charities and care homes being "ripped off by PPE suppliers" and decided they wanted to help.
Early on in the pandemic, the decision was made to give all of their profits from PPE to charities, additionally they also set up a procurement team for charities to use free of charge during 2020 to help find PPE.
The team took to the roads to deliver 37,000 free face masks to charities, including St Helena’s Hospice, a place that’s close to Christoph’s heart having previously supported his family through some tough times.
Christoph said: “When the pandemic hit, many of our clients were operating under incredible stress. Our first thoughts were to protect our colleagues and to support the organisations that helped us get where we are today, however we could.
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“Most immediately, that meant securing supplies of PPE so they could continue their vital work safely, and we were happy to work for free and donated 100% of our PPE profits to 14 charities."
Despite the challenges being faced by the business, Christoph also led a move to diversify its customer base, helping to secure the jobs of 20 staff.
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As the winner of the Lloyds Bank award, the team has won a mentoring session with Tamara Lohan MBE, co-founder of the boutique hotel travel specialists Mr & Mrs Smith, which will provide insight and support to help Marr Procurement navigate new opportunities and grow.
Paul Gordon, managing director of SME and Mid Corporates at Lloyds Bank, said: “So many inspiring stories have emerged from the shadow of the pandemic, especially of people using their skills and experience to support organisations that are on the front line, helping vulnerable people.
"Marr Procurement is a great example of a business with a strong entrepreneurial spirit which also works for the greater good. It is truly deserving of this award.”