King County chambers of commerce, with a big assist from Amazon and its Treasure Trucks, began distributing free personal protection equipment (PPE) to small businesses in the county today to help keep employees safe and healthy.

Jane Billbe, senior vice president of operations and organizational health at the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, loads PPE in a vehicle July 1 at Pyramid Alehouse in Seattle during the first day of free PPE distribution by regional chambers of commerce to small businesses in King County. (Photo courtesy of Kristina Hudson, OneRedmond.)

Kristina Hudson, executive director of OneRedmond, the city of Redmond’s combined chamber, economic development enterprise and public foundation, reported an “amazing” start to the effort during a call from the first distribution site in Seattle today.

Hudson noted a steady stream of cars picking up the “Safe Start Kits” containing cloth and disposable face masks, and hand sanitizer — all deposited in contact-less fashion into arriving vehicles. The PPE was paid for by King County and is being distributed by chambers at sites throughout the county this month. Small businesses also can choose to have the Safe Start Kits mailed to them, but they must pay for shipping.

To pick up their PPE, businesses must sign up ahead of time at SafeStartKingCounty.com.

PPE will be distributed in Kent and Redmond on Thursday, July 2. The Kent distribution will occur from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the ShoWare Center, and the Redmond distribution will be from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Redmond Senior Center.

Kristina Hudson, executive director of OneRedmond.

Hudson said PPE would be distributed to about 1,000 companies this week, “and more to come” in coming weeks. The county has more than 70,000 small businesses, she said. Companies with up to 20 employees can get 50 cloth face coverings (white, 3-ply with nose piece), 150 disposable masks, and four 16.9-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer. Companies with 20-plus employees can get 100 cloth face coverings, 300 disposable masks, and eight 16.9-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer.

Future distributions are planned July 7 in Mercer Island and Sammamish, July 8 in Tukwila, July 9 in Issaquah, July 14 in Bothell, with other locations and dates still being determined. See SafeStartKingCounty.com for more details.

OneRedmond, and the Seattle Metropolitan, and Seattle Southside chambers of commerce are leading a partnership with King County and dozens of regional business organizations to distribute more than 1 million masks and nearly 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to small businesses across the county, according to news release from OneRedmond.

The county paid for all the business supplies, Hudson said, adding, “a big thank you to King County for making this personal protection equipment available to small businesses.” She credited the “monumental effort” among myriad organizations and businesses for making the distribution possible.

“It’s a team effort, that’s for sure,” Hudson said.