Company Has Shifted Production to Help Healthcare Workers Battle COVID-19
(AMSTERDAM, NY) – Facing a global health pandemic, hospitals, nursing homes and other medical professionals have been facing supply shortages of key personal protection equipment (PPE) like N95 masks, gowns and plastic shields. To help ease the burden, Montgomery County-based business Saratoga Horseworks, which normally manufactures equestrian products, has shifted its operation to produce much needed healthcare PPEs.
To recognize this local business stepping up in a time of crisis, Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort and the Montgomery County Business Development Center have named the Amsterdam-based company the April Small Business of the Month.
“Our community’s response to the pandemic exemplifies why Montgomery County is such a special place to live and work,” said County Executive Ossenfort. “People from throughout the community have stepped up to help neighbors in need during this difficult time. Saratoga Horseworks epitomizes this spirit of community and service. In a time of national crisis, Michael Libertucci and his team quickly responded to the needs of our healthcare providers, keeping employees on the job and producing thousands of desperately needed PPEs.
“As soon as social distancing regulations are lifted, I look forward to visiting the company and thanking each employee for what they’ve done to help make Montgomery County stronger during these challenging times. On behalf of the county and its residents, I’m proud to recognize Saratoga Horseworks with our inaugural Small Business of the Month award,” Ossenfort said.
“It was never a question of whether we would help with PPE shortages but what we could do to do the most good,” said Saratoga Horseworks President Michael Libertucci.
On March 23, Saratoga Horseworks made the decision to turn part of its production facility over to making personal protective equipment for health care providers. Three days later, the company had a design, prototypes, and samples available for area hospitals to evaluate. Just twenty-four hours later, production was underway with the company producing 1,600 face shields per day within the first week, the company will produce over 20,000 shields before they are done.
By the second week of April, based upon feedback from hospitals and other medical service providers, the company turned its attention to adding the production of gowns. With existing space, equipment, trained operators, and a substantial source of material, the company found its operation could be most productive focusing its efforts to address the critical need for gowns.
“Companies like Saratoga Horseworks and Michael Libertucci and his team are a prime examples of why Montgomery County will get through this pandemic and come out stronger. They’re are driving our economy and creating opportunities, but they’re also ready to lend a hand when the community is in need. This recognition is our chance to say ‘thank you’ and provide them with some well-earned gratitude,” said Montgomery County Business Development Center CEO Ken Rose.
Founded in 1988, Saratoga Horseworks developed from avid horseman Michael Libertucci’s vision of addressing the design challenges and pressing needs of equestrians. Made in Montgomery County, the company first produced fly sheets, and made its mark again with the creation of the Saratoga Bandage, which features a unique fabric that provides support for a horse’s lower limbs.
In 1997, Saratoga Horseworks made the leap to begin producing contract-sewn products for outside companies. The company also introduced a new division, Custom Sewn Products, which caters to various non-equestrian industries including pet products, scuba diving, medical products, musical instrument accessories and more. Today, the company continues to operate from its location at 57 Edson Street in Amsterdam.
Those wishing to nominate a small business for recognition should contact the Montgomery County Business Development Center at 518-853-8334 or email with two to three paragraphs about the business and how it’s making an impact on the county’s communities.