CIT Financing Speeds Protective N95 Masks To Healthcare Workers

NEW YORK CITY — April 2, 2020 — CIT Group Inc. has provided critical financing for its client Aria Designs to help it procure millions of advanced N95 surgical masks that will protect medical professionals battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aria Designs, a North Carolina-based furniture manufacturer and importer, is using its global supply chain and manufacturers to supply the much-needed protective masks. To help finance the order, Aria Designs turned to CIT, which has long worked closely with Aria to finance its furniture transactions.

“We explained the situation and CIT immediately said: ‘Let’s go. How can we help?’” recalled Jeff Arditti, CEO of Aria Designs in Lenoir, N.C. “That gave us the confidence to go forward. CIT made it possible.”

To date, Aria Designs has collected orders for more than 5 million masks from hospitals, medical practices and emergency services across North Carolina. Thanks in part to CIT’s financing, the first masks are expected to arrive in the coming days — with millions more to follow by airfreight in the days and weeks ahead.

“Supporting clients is central to how we do business,” said Mike Hudgens, Southeast regional manager for CIT’s Commercial Services group, which finances transactions on everything from furniture to fashion to electronics. “When we learned of this opportunity to help our client and join the fight against COVID-19, we jumped right in.”

About 150 people are employed by CIT in Charlotte, N.C., with the large majority of them associated with the Commercial Services group supporting the financial needs of consumer products companies that sell furniture, apparel, housewares, electronics, toys, hardware and much more.

“Financing that gets protective masks flowing to the healthcare professionals who need them most is another example of how CIT’s expertise empowers businesses to make good things happen,” Hudgens said. “We’re proud to have played a key role in financing the delivery of surgical masks that will help stop the spread of the coronavirus from patient to healthcare provider.”

For Aria Designs, the quick pivot to importing surgical masks has also allowed it to keep more of its workforce employed during the retail shutdown. That benefits its workers and also helps keep the local economy moving at a critical juncture.

But for Aria, it’s primarily about helping protect the healthcare workers who are tending to those affected by the pandemic.

“It’s our privilege to support the healthcare community in the midst of this unprecedented emergency,” Arditti said. “We’re grateful for CIT’s financial expertise in making this possible.”

Posted April 2, 2020

Source: CIT Group Inc.