$20M in Grants for Ohio Manufacturers Making PPE

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A $20 million grant program through the state will give manufacturers of personal protective equipment an opportunity to retool and expand their efforts.

During Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus briefing Thursday, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said the Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program offered through the Ohio Development Services Agency will distribute grants of up to $500,000 to 68 companies in the state. Monies can be used to retool or expand existing capabilities in Ohio to produce needed personal protective equipment and sustain current levels to avoid another shortage.

“We’re going to continue to try to help these businesses build that supply chain,” Husted said. “We are confident that Ohio companies will continue to innovate and find solutions for this shortage.”

Originally launched in June, the grant program provides monies to businesses or nonprofits that meet the requirements outlined on the Development Services Agency website.

More than half of the grant monies are going to small businesses with fewer than 45 employees, Husted said. Projects are expected to create 829 new jobs in the state and retain 1,133 existing jobs.

“This is an important part of the economic development strategy that supports the health strategy, that helps keep Ohio open for business and people employed,” Husted said.

Since the start of the pandemic, JobsOhio and the state have procured some 65 million pieces of protective equipment, more than 50 million of which have been distributed across the state to health care providers and businesses that need it, he said.

Starting next week, JobsOhio will be putting together 15,000 toolkits to distribute to businesses. Kits will be comprised of 1.5 million three-ply masks, 150,000 N95 respirator masks and 15,000 bottles of hand sanitizer. The state will work with area chambers of commerce and urban leagues to ensure the kits are distributed to those who need it most, he said.

Locally, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber will distribute the kits July 23 at Cerni Motors in Austintown. More information is available HERE.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.