We have created this page as a resource for all GEAR AID employees in hopes to provide pertinent information regarding our company, business decisions and staff. It will be updated as events unfold so please bookmark this page for quick and easy access.

Relevant resources:


    GEAR AID Contacts:

     

      March 25, 2020 

      A letter to our Customers & Partners:

       

      Given the recently announced state of emergency order for Washington State, GEAR AID will be temporarily shutting down its Bellingham office, production, and warehouse operations for a two-week period.

      We are taking this necessary action to ensure the safety of our team members and to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our local community. Starting this Thursday, March 26, our employees will be staying home, alongside many of you. We hope to reopen and begin shipping customer orders again by Friday, April 10. However, our actual restart date will be contingent on the duration of the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy order in place for Washington State.

      How to reach GEAR AID during the closure
      While our office is temporarily closed, we remain committed to delivering the same level of personal support that our customers and partners have come to expect from GEAR AID. Our team members in all head office support roles will be working remotely from home during this temporary closure with access to email, phone forwarding, and VPN network connections.

      For urgent inquiries, you may contact us by:

        We appreciate your patience as we do our best to respond to your inquiries.

        Customer order status
        Effective today, March 25, we will suspend the shipping of any new customer orders. As indicated above, we are hopeful that the emergency order restrictions will be lifted after two weeks, so we can resume processing and shipping orders on April 10.

        We are in the process of contacting all of our customers with pending orders. We will do our best to accommodate any requests for delivery date and order quantity adjustments due to the temporary shutdown. Our Customer Service and Shipping team is working hard to fulfill existing orders prior to the closure. If you have any questions about your order status, feel free to contact us.   

        Visitors and Deliveries to GEAR AID
        During this closure, we will not be able to receive unscheduled shipments or any visitors at the GEAR AID office.

        Please contact our Customer Service or Supply Chain Planning team if you need to arrange for a delivery to GEAR AID prior to April 10. We will do our best to accommodate your request. However, all in person, parcel, or truck deliveries to GEAR AID will need to be scheduled 24 hours in advance in order to ensure that we have staff onsite to receive the shipment.

        We will be updating all of our customers and key partners with any changes to the above dates during this office closure.

        I want to sincerely thank you for your partnership and understanding as we navigate the impact of COVID-19 to our business. 

        Stay safe,

        Clark Campbell
        President
        GEAR AID

         

        March 20, 2020 

        Temporary closing of our offices:

         

        All, 

        I was informed this morning that one of our staff members here at GEAR AID may have come into direct contact with another person with the COVID-19 virus.

        The employee notified us of their potential exposure this morning and elected to remain at home today. The employee is not exhibiting any flu like symptoms, and is remaining at home today out of an abundance of caution.

        Since the employee is not a confirmed case of COVID-19 and is exhibiting no signs of illness, we have no reason to believe that this situation presents a risk of direct exposure to anyone at GEAR AID.

        That said, the presence of the COVID-19 virus in our community calls for us to take extra precautions in these circumstances. As a result, I am instructing our team to take the following precautionary steps today:

        • The GEAR AID office, warehouse, and production facility will be closing early today, with all permanent employees and temporary staff being sent home at 1 PM on Friday 3/20.
        • Our cleaning service will be conducting a deep and complete cleaning of the building over the weekend to ensure that all common area surfaces and shared equipment are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
        • The employee with the potential exposure will remain at home on paid leave until it is possible to positively confirm that the employee is healthy and safe to return to work.  

        For the balance of our normal office, warehouse, and production hours today, we will be proceeding as follows:

        • Office staff with the capability to work remotely, will work from home for the balance of their normal shift   
        • Customer Service, production, shipping, and material handling operations will shut down for the balance of the day.   
        • UPS and trucking service will be notified to cancel the normal afternoon pick up service for today.   Orders scheduled to ship today will be processed on Monday.  
        • All hourly employees in the office, warehouse, and production will be paid for their normal full day.
        • Temporary staff will be paid for the work completed during their partial shift today.

        We expect these actions to be temporary one day interruption of our normal business.   Until otherwise notified by me, our plan is to resume full operation of all customer service, production, warehouse operations and on Monday, March 23.

        I realize that all of us are concerned about the presence of the Covid-19 virus in our state and local community.  Given the situation, it is upon each of us to take all necessary precautions to limit exposure and community transmission of this virus. As a result, we are choosing to error on side caution by implementing these additional preventative measures.

        In meantime, I ask everyone to do their part to follow the individual health precautions as outlined in my earlier all company communications.

        In order to make certain that this message reaches all GEAR AID permanent staff, we will also be:

        • Forwarding this message to the personal emails addresses of all full time employees without GEAR AID email accounts.  
        • Posting this email on the following newly created GEAR AID internal communication web link: https://www.gearaid.com/pages/staff-resources

        I appreciate the everyone’s patience and grace under this difficult situation.     Under the current circumstances, we are all being asked to make complex decisions, often with an incomplete view of all the facts. I recognize that operating under these conditions is stressful for everyone in the company.      However, ensuring the health and safety of all GEAR AID employees and temporary staff always remains our top business priority. 

        Please direct any questions that you may have to either myself or Karen Robins.   

        I can be reached at the following cell # if anyone at GEAR AID has additional questions or would just like to discuss this matter further: 206-753-8368

        Thank you for your support.

        Regards,

        Clark Campbell

         

        March 18, 2020 

        A letter from Clark Campbell:

         

        All,

        I want to thank everyone at GEAR AID for working together to help us ‘do the right thing’ for the our staff, our customers, and our community during this difficult time.

        The evolving news about the Corona virus is having significant impact on all of us.

        Determining the right course of action in a time of great uncertainty is neither easy or without significant stress. Everyone here at GEAR AID is to be commended for their team work in formulating a prompt response to this shared challenge.

        Companies throughout our industry and our local community are grappling with how to interpret the information from the various news sources, and are taking actions to best serve their constituencies.

        Here at Gear Aid that means carefully weighing the impact of our decisions on:

        • Our people…which includes our full time employees, temporary staff, and their families.
        • Our business…which includes the customers, suppliers, and partners that depend on us. 
        • Our community…which we are all an integral part of.

        Based on the announcement by Governor Inslee earlier this week to declare a state of emergency in Washington,  it is critical that we act quickly to implement an interim policies at GEAR AID in accordance with best practice recommendation from both the CDC, and Whatcom County Health department.  

        Attached above is summary of the procedural and policy changes that I am asking everyone at GEAR AID to adopt for the next 4-6 weeks.   I am asking for everyone to read  this document, and begin implementing these policy changes immediately.

        Our first priority is to ensure the health and safety of everyone that works at GEAR AID, as well as their immediate families. Our challenge is to adopt an interim operating plan that enables GEAR AID to service our customers, while taking clear steps to limit the spread of the Corona virus in our community. The above interim operating policies should allow us to strike that balance.  

        This is obviously not a static situation. We are closely monitoring the updates from both the Whatcom County Health department and the CDC to determine what further changes are necessary to our plan.        

        As changes are required, I will endeavor to keep everyone informed of the relevant revisions to our operating plan. The following are steps that each of us can take: 

        Seek out information from reliable sources, and follow the advice of experts:

          The following link has the CDC guidelines for limiting spread of the Covid-19 virus.   I am asking that everyone at GEAR AID to read these simple guidelines, and consider ways to implement these changes in our work and home life routines.  These recommendations have been posted on the company board and in bathrooms throughout the building https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

          Take responsibility for your own health:
            • Eat well, get enough sleep, exercise, get outside at least once a day, and follow these recommendation to limit your exposure to the Covid-19 virus:
            • Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
            • Clean frequently touched surfaces.
            • Avoid direct contact with people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
          Take responsibility for your impact on fellow employees:
          • Stay home when you are sick.
          • Notify your direct supervisor or manager if you are experiencing ‘flu like’ symptoms
          • Cover your mouth with tissues whenever you sneeze, and discard used tissues in the trash.

            It is critical that employees not report to work if they are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that employees remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.

            Employees who report to work ill will be sent home in accordance with the CDC health guidelines.  It is the role of each manager at GEAR AID to monitor the health of the employees on their team, and to send home any employees that exhibit the above signs of illness. 

            The Whatcom County Department of Health has developed the best practice guidelines for businesses in our area. 

            The above operating plan document is intended to allow GEAR AID to comply with recommendations for businesses from the Whatcom County Health Dept. All VPs, Directors, Managers, Supervisors need to familiarize themselves with the information in the above link, as it is forming the basis of GEAR AID’s interim operating plan.  

            Above attached file outlines the additional precautions we are taking here at Gear Aid with regards to: 

            • Cleaning procedures for the office / warehouse areas
            • Internal in-person meetings
            • Outside Visitors
            • Freight / Parcel Post pick up – drop off procedures
            • Lunch room / Break times
            • Production / Warehouse operations
            • Remote work policies
            • Attendance at outside events /  Hosting events and large groups at GEAR AID
            • Business travel restrictions
            • Guidance to staff on personal travel

            This is obviously a lot of information to digest at one time. I appreciate the work that everyone is doing to ensure business continuity for GEAR AID under these difficult circumstances. Times like this are an opportunity for each of us to demonstrate the our commitment to the values that underpin the GEAR AID brand, business, and team culture.

            Please feel free to contact me either at the office or by cell phone if you have any questions with the above information. 

            Keep up the great work, 

            Clark