State awards $1.6 million in grants to makers of personal protective equipment

State officials have awarded $1.6 million in a second round of grants to companies that have switched production to personal protective equipment.

The Maryland Department of Commerce said 25 state firms received grants from the state’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund in the latest round.


The state awarded $1.6 million in May in a first round of grants to 20 companies. The state received more than 200 applications for the $5 million program, created to meet a growing demand for items for front line workers as well as thermometers, respirators and ventilators for hospitals.

Companies have received up to $100,000 each to make face shields, gowns and parts for N95 masks. The equipment is designated for essential and front line workers who need a steady and reliable supply of items, officials said.


“We are proud to provide support to the dozens of Maryland companies that stepped up during this global pandemic to produce the most critically-needed equipment,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement.

Elkridge-based Hatch Exhibits, a recipient that normally makes custom trade show booths, displays and exhibits, is producing gowns and face shields with the help of a grant.

Some other recipients include The Cover Loft, a custom canvas shop in Annapolis that’s making face masks and shields; Baltimore-based apparel maker DifferentRegard, making face masks and gowns; Baltimore-based sports equipment maker STX, making face masks; and SewLab in Baltimore, making mask covers for N95 masks

Integrated Pharma Services, a Frederick biosciences company, is making surgical masks.

“We were alarmed with the shortage of domestic manufacturers for critical PPEs such as face masks,” Mina Izadjoo, Integrated’s president and chief science officer, said in Tuesday’s announcement. “This funding will bring us one step closer to self-sufficiency in making masks and better positions the country, particularly Maryland, in the fight against this pandemic.”