Amid ongoing high demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), states continue to develop new ways to increase supply and bring buyers and sellers together. Economic development organizations and their partners are offering PPE incentives, technical assistance for manufacturers, and online marketplaces to help their local businesses.
Most recently, Georgia approved an additional tax credit of $1,250 per job for companies that manufacture hand sanitizer or personal protective equipment. The credit can be claimed for current jobs or those created before January 2025. Indiana launched its PPE Directory on July 8 to connect Indiana businesses to PPE suppliers in the state. It replaces the Indiana Small Business Marketplace.
Several states had previously created financing programs (often short-term grants) and new service offerings to make it easier to produce, purchase and sell quality PPE. For example:
- Massachusetts created a Manufacturing Emergency Response Team and offered $10 million in grant funding to help manufacturers produce PPE. Non-financial assistance included guidance on regulatory compliance, specifications, retraining, and design. $9.5 million was distributed to 15 companies in May.
- In Maryland the $5 million COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund makes grants up to $100,000 available to companies manufacturing PPE and other critical needs items. Twenty companies received grants in the first round of awards in late April. An additional 25 companies received grants in early June. No new applications are being accepted, but additional awards among existing applicants may occur.
- Virginia created the VA PPE Retooling Playbook to “help manufacturers understand key elements for making PPE.” It provides guidance on the types of PPE in demand, an overview of regulatory issues pertaining to production and distribution of PPE, process maps, and resources for additional assistance. The Virginia Supply Chain Connector brings together PPE buyers and manufacturers.
- Under the now-closed Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) COVID-19 Emergency Access & Retooling Grantsprogram, Michigan provided grants between $10,000 and $150,000 to small manufacturing business producing PPE. The PMBC COVID-19 Procurement Platform continues to link suppliers to businesses that need to access non-medical grade PPE for their operations.
Many organizations, but especially small businesses, are struggling to acquire affordable cleaning supplies and PPE that will allow them to reopen safely. We don’t expect to see another round of manufacturing grants, but states are likely to continue to step up their efforts to address the PPE bottleneck and help their local manufacturers.