Fort Myers strap company shifts gears, makes masks for health care workers

A Southwest Florida company that makes seat belts for grocery carts is switching gears to helping those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Safe-Strap Company owner Paul Giampavolo says employees would normally make things like grocery cart seat belts in their Lee County factory on Jetport Commerce Parkway, but the coronavirus caused sales to drop.

So, instead of laying off employees, Giampavolo re-purposed his workers and their sewing machines, with a decision they would help make masks for health care workers.

“We have machinery. We have very skilled sewing teams,” Giampavolo said. “So we had two problems, how would we keep them working and how would we keep them safe.”

He says they’ve made about 3,000 masks in just one week – all from home, “We’re able to help hospitals that are in desperate need. There are many places that don’t have masks at all.”

Safe-Strap will now donate those 3,000 masks to health care workers in need, with the first batch going to Lee Health on Tuesday.

They also plan to send masks to different hospitals across the country.

Reporter:Andryanna Sheppard
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