Weeks before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Sunshine Ace Hardware had already activated its response plan. 

Our leadership team anticipated a global disruption in the supply chain, so our buyers began sourcing supplies and building inventory levels. We utilized our long-standing personal relationships and partnerships built over decades to secure supplies even as big box retail stores were picked dry of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, paper towels, wipes and cleaning solutions. 

Our business to business (B2B) division made our small, locally-owned businesses – the lifeblood of our community – a priority and ensured they had access to the supplies they needed to operate. Sunshine Ace was quickly able to fulfill the needs of area nursing homes, municipalities, hospitals and local businesses with the required PPE to get us all through the pandemic together safely.  

The strain on the global supply chain was a painful reminder of how one missing part can bring a plumber, electrician or contractor to a halt with a critical repair or project. It was many small businesses like Sunshine Ace that were flexible and nimble enough to get creative with their sourcing to ensure their customers’ needs were met. 

When those companies have access to supplies, they can continue to operate, and the individuals they employ can continue to earn a living. Those employees then spend their paychecks at other local businesses, ensuring that our economy continues to thrive. 

Sourcing high-demand items is always a challenge, but the challenge with the pandemic was making sure that the global supply chain disruption didn’t become a local supply chain disruption. 

Sunshine Ace Hardware certainly wasn’t the only local B2B company that stepped up during the pandemic. Across the region, small businesses collectively emerged as each other’s biggest advocates. 

Every business benefits from partnerships with B2B companies that are just like them – locally-owned, responsive and dedicated to the community they serve. 

During the pandemic, small businesses enjoyed these perks as Sunshine Ace’s B2B partners: 

  • B2B team: Account executives make “house calls” to local businesses, while inside sales specialists help commercial customers in store. Stores carry more than 65,000 items in stock, but the B2B team also can access an additional 90,000 items readily available at a regional warehouse. 
  • Discounts: Prices are already competitive, but commercial customers receive discounts based on volume, rewarding high-volume customers with even better high-value price breaks. 
  • Commercial checkout desk: Time is money, and commercial customers have a dedicated cashier to quickly make purchases and get back on the job. 
  • Quick turnaround: Commercial customers receive free delivery and a promise of a 24-hour turnaround time on their orders for in-stock items. 
  • Financial flexibility: In partnership with Capital One Trade Credit, commercial customers have access to larger credit lines to help grow their businesses, as well as flexible payment options. 
  • Email: Commercial customers have a dedicated email address, B2B@SunshineAce.com, that is monitored throughout the workday, as well as a dedicated hotline at 800-378-0113. 

The phrase “we’re all in this together” has been widely used during the pandemic, but it’s never been more true than it is todaySouthwest Florida’s economy is thriving because of our region’s strong network of local businessesIt is critical that these local businesses continue to support each other to promote continued prosperity and economic sustainability for our region. 

– By Michael Wynn, President of Sunshine Ace Hardware