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CIT’s Financial Support Helps Designers Create COVID-19 Protective Masks with Style

April 08, 2020, 08:00 AM
Filed Under: Healthcare
Related: CIT, COVID-19

U.S. health officials say Americans should wear masks in public to combat the coronavirus. Financial support by CIT Group Inc. is helping two California apparel makers create masks that protect with style.

Sanctuary Clothing and Karen Kane, both Los Angeles-based clients of CIT’s Commercial Services business, have rolled out stylish face masks that can be worn by consumers to provide another layer of protection against COVID-19 transmission when out in public. Both clothing companies are using proceeds from sales of fashion masks to help finance donations of masks to hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

“Supporting our clients is central to how we do business,” said Darrin Beer, Western Regional Manager for CIT’s Commercial Services business. “We’re thrilled to provide financing that helps Sanctuary Clothing and Karen Kane bring protective masks to the medical community and the public, while also keeping their businesses moving forward.”

Masks for Medical Use and Daily Wear

As the virus threat grew, Ken and Debra Polanco of Sanctuary Clothing saw opportunities to leverage their supply chain to both import medical-quality masks and also develop stylish versions for everyday wear.

Backed by CIT financial support, they recently took an order from the California Department of Public Health for 500,000 surgical masks, which are expected for delivery this week, with more to follow. At the same time, Debra Polanco began creating the “Essential Lifestyle Masks” line for consumers.

“We’ve been a loyal CIT customer since 1987,” Ken Polanco said. “It takes all of us using our expertise to make something like this happen and CIT’s factoring expertise is a big part of that.”

Mask Sales Support Donations

 At Karen Kane, the company’s leadership saw potential as mask-wearing proliferated in medical settings and on city streets. They quickly identified sources of fabric and then began crafting masks for their own employees and contributions to local hospitals and consumer products.

Proceeds from mask sales to the public support mask donations to the medical community, with CIT financing helping make it all possible.

“We feel privileged to be able to do something to help people stay healthy at this critical point in the COVID-19 crisis,” said Lonnie Kane, who co-founded the business with his wife, Karen. “The financing we get from CIT is vital to making it all possible.”

Beer said CIT’s Commercial Services business is actively working with its many clients as they navigate the challenges posed by the economic impact of the coronavirus. Commercial Services provides financial support to consumer product companies that sell apparel, furniture housewares, electronics, toys, hardware and more.

“Agility is critical when business conditions shift rapidly, as they are now,” Beer said. “We’re focused on helping our clients successfully adapt to the economic changes in the short term and look forward to helping them flourish when the current crisis recedes.”

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