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3 Carroll County companies win Maryland grant funds to make protective equipment during coronavirus pandemic

Three Carroll County companies have been awarded grant funding from the state of Maryland to support their production of personal protective equipment for use during the coronavirus pandemic.

The grant money, totaling $1.6 million, is being distributed to 20 companies throughout the state for producing items such as face shields, gowns, N95 masks and respirator parts, according to Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration. The individual grants are up to $100,000.

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Personal protective equipment has been in high demand during the pandemic of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — especially for health care workers and others whose work is considered essential.

“Ramping up our supply of PPE is a critical building block in our state’s recovery plan, and we are taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to secure these resources for our front line workers,” Hogan said in a news release. “I want to thank and commend the local businesses who have shifted their operations and increased production to help us save lives and flatten the curve.”

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The Carroll-based businesses selected to receive grants are Eldersburg-based CoastTec, Westminster-based LAI International, and Westminster-based Strouse.

“After hearing story after story of ventilator shortages, I wanted to put our resources to use to help,” Jonathan Sevel, CEO of CoastTec, said in the release. “I knew that our company is adaptable enough to focus engineering and manufacturing towards a cost-effective viable strategy to get non-working ventilators back into circulation. We estimate that we will be able to manufacture 200-300 ventilator battery packs per day, hopefully easing some of the strain on the system.” CoastTec normally produces battery backups for computers, according to the release.

More than 200 applications for the grants were submitted, and more funding will be made available in the coming weeks, according to the release.

For business resources during the pandemic, visit businessexpress.maryland.gov/coronavirus. For health resources, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.

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