Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland has awarded more than $1.6 million in a first round of grants to 20 Maryland companies for pivoting to or expanding production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Among the Maryland companies are receiving grant funding are C.R. Daniels, Fabrication Events and X-Laser, all of Howard County; Marty’s Bag Works, of Anne Arundel County; and Potomac Photonics of bwtech@UMBC.
Through the Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce, companies are receiving grants of up to $100,000 to manufacture everything from face shields, gowns, N-95 masks, and respirator parts to battery packs for ventilators.
“Ramping up our supply of PPE is a critical building block in our state’s recovery plan, and we are taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to secure these resources for our front line workers,” said Hogan. “I want to thank and commend the local businesses who have shifted their operations and increased production to help us save lives and flatten the curve.”
The $5 million program was created in response to a growing demand for items to protect health care and front line workers, including face shields, surgical masks and gowns and gloves, as well as items for hospitals, like thermometers, respirators, and ventilators. The program received more than 200 applications, and additional grants will be made available in the coming weeks.
“We quickly created this program to address an immediate critical need, and our business community has responded in a big way,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz. “Many of these companies have had to rapidly ramp up production of these items, while others pivoted completely from their normal operations and came up with a creative way they could help, with some adding new jobs in the process.”
“After hearing story after story of ventilator shortages, I wanted to put our resources to use to help,” said Jonathan Sevel, CEO of CoastTec. “I knew that our company is adaptable enough to focus engineering and manufacturing towards a cost-effective viable strategy to get non-working ventilators back into circulation. We estimate that we will be able to manufacture 200-300 ventilator battery packs per day, hopefully easing some of the strain on the system.”
“The Commerce Department’s rapid response to getting us assistance has given us the confidence to invest in our filter production equipment and allowed us to bring on an additional dozen employees to operate it,” said Ken Malone, chairman of DiPole Materials. “Importantly, our expansion will also allow us to rapidly grow our business post-crisis when we pivot back to being a custom manufacturer of high performance materials.”
For additional business resources available during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit businessexpress.maryland.gov/coronavirus.