MINNEAPOLIS — Comfort Matters Heating & Cooling has greatly expanded its existing community outreach efforts in recent weeks by providing free filter inserts for safety masks and inspiring an influx of nearly $40,000 into the local economy to help businesses facing financial hardship during the COVID-19 crisis.  

Following a delivery program and efforts to raise awareness of the challenges facing local businesses, Comfort Matters is currently offering area households free filter inserts to enhance the effectiveness of personal safety masks and fight the spread of COVID-19 infections. The Comfort Matters team has converted material from the company’s supply of HVAC filters into 1,000 mask inserts, which have been shipped to more than 300 homes in Minneapolis.

“A cloth mask is better than nothing in cases where social distancing isn’t always possible, but it provides the lowest level of protection,” said Corey Hickmann, owner of Comfort Matters Heating & Cooling. “Adding a filter significantly improves the performance and effectiveness of cloth barriers in combating infections.”

Since coronavirus-related stay-in-place guidelines went into effect, Comfort Matters has delivered groceries, household products, and other necessities to seniors. The company has also provided financial support and awareness for local restaurants and hair stylists, nail salons, and massage therapists, which have been among the businesses hit hardest by the economic slowdown, by matching gift card purchases for those local enterprises. The effort on behalf of the Minneapolis styling industry has prompted an influx of nearly $40,000 into the local economy.

“When businesses started shutting down as a result of the pandemic, we looked around to see how we could help,” Hickmann said. “We’ve always been committed to serving the community, and the overall need has never been greater than it is right now. Once the deliveries were under way, we kept hearing about other opportunities where we could make a difference. And an added benefit is that it’s kept our team productive during a slowdown that is affecting all sectors of the economy.”

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