Council funded grants support local businesses to pivot to PPE, emergency response
May 15, 2020
Councilmember Riemer spearheaded special appropriation to create Local Production Fund
ROCKVILLE, Md., May 15, 2020—Supported by a special appropriation by the Council, the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) has awarded 25 local businesses with funds totaling $200,000 for the manufacture of Covid-19-related personal protective equipment (PPE).
Councilmember Hans Riemer initiated the appropriation and partnered with MCEDC to create the Local Production Fund. MCEDC administers the fund and matched the Council’s $100,000 appropriation with $100,000 from their budget.
“I proposed this fund because we need the ingenuity of public private partnerships to get through this trying time,” said Councilmember Riemer. “These grants are going to help provide essential Covid-19-related equipment, much of which is in short supply. At the same time, it stimulates several sectors of our local economy and positions them for longer-term growth and recovery. I want to thank MCEDC for their work to support local business.”
The County created the Local Production Fund to provide local small and medium-sized manufacturers and producers with the working capital necessary to make and provide essential PPE and other Covid-19-related products. The grants range in size from $2,500 to $25,000 and will fund the production of face shields, face masks, hand sanitizers, home cleansers, gowns and Covid-19 testing kits, among others.
According to MCEDC, the 25 grant recipients are a diverse group, with 73 percent of the funding awarded to companies led by women or minority entrepreneurs. They work in a variety of fields, including IT/educational consulting, robotics, tech production, automotive electronic/lighting, embroidery/screen printing, biotech, commercial printing, farming, artisan manufacturing/retail, alterations/tailors, nonprofits and farming.
The awardees are located in Silver Spring, Germantown, Bethesda/North Bethesda, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Olney, Potomac, Dickerson and Clarksburg.
MCEDC received 51 applications. As part of their grant agreement, by the end of August, awardees will submit a report to MCEDC detailing their progress and how the funds have been used.