Ohio grant program to help small businesses start making PPE

Angelica Caballero creates face masks out of fabric at Echota Fabrics, Inc. in Calhoun on April 8, 2020. Echota Fabrics, Inc. normally produces fabrics for curtains and bedding. The company’s response to the COVID19 pandemic was to create makeshift medical gowns and fabric face masks to assist healthcare workers. They are working with a local fabric manufacturer that is creating medical composite gown materials for the gowns. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Ohio is offering up to $500,000 to small businesses and nonprofit organizations to remake their facilities to manufacture Personal Protection Equipment.

The Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program offers the money to applicants that meet a number of requirements.

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First, the applicant has to qualify as a small business or be an established nonprofit. Then, it has to produce the PPE solely at an Ohio facility owned and operated by the applicant.

The applicant also has to be in good standing with the Ohio Department of Taxation and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, be registered with the Secretary of State, and must agree to make their best efforts to sell PPE produced by this program in Ohio before selling out of the state.

Finally, applicants must be either: an existing manufacturer that has retooled or is planning to retool their facility to produce qualifying PPE; a new manufacturer being established to produce qualifying PPE; or a nonprofit that has started producing or plans to produce one kind of qualifying PPE.

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Qualifying PPE includes:

  • Surgical masks
  • Gowns
  • Gloves
  • Community masks
  • Face shields
  • Thermometers
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Cleaning and sanitizing products
  • Other products approved by the Ohio Development Services Agency

The ODSA said grant funds could be used to buy equipment, retool or upgrade facilities, or make new ones, and can reimburse businesses that have already done so, so long as the costs were incurred after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency in Ohio on March 21.

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Up to a fifth of the available funds may be reserved for businesses with fewer than 25 employees.

More information can be found and applications can be submitted on the Ohio Development Services Agency website.

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