Five more Oakland County manufacturers will share $100,000 in “Saving Business, Saving Lives” grants to make personal protective equipment such as masks and face shields used in the fight against the coronavirus.
Oakland County Executive David Coulter announced the awards, which come from a $1 million fund he proposed and was approved by the county Board of Commissioners to incentivize Oakland County manufacturers who can shift production to include personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns, face shields or medical device components.
“Oakland County is blessed to have such a wealth of nimble and talented manufacturing companies who are able to shift their focus to help in the fight against the coronavirus,” Coulter said. “Personal protective equipment remains critical for our health care workers, first responders and now for segments of the public who are returning to the workforce as the economy begins to open. I’m grateful for these companies and their willingness to help.”
The “Saving Business, Saving Lives” grant is part of a larger job stabilization fund proposed by Coulter and approved by the county board. The county has appropriated nearly $14 million to help small businesses which have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The companies receiving grants today are:
- Foam -N- More of Clawson: The company has been in business since 1980 and specializes in foam products such as mattresses, mattress toppers, cushions and custom-cut foam. It will now include the manufacture of face shields.
- Broadway Embroidery of Lake Orion: The company produces traditional embroidery in downtown Lake Orion. It will now include making custom-embroidered triple-layer face masks.
- Inkpressions of Commerce Township: The company specializes in high-quality screen printing and embroidery products. It has transitioned to the full-time production of dual-filter cotton face masks.
- T.M. Shea Products Inc. of Troy: The company specializes in plastic and die cut manufacturing to provide displays and promotional sign systems for retail customers. Production will now include face shields, plastic sneeze guards and credit card guards.
- D.S. Sales, doing business as Premier International of Wixom: The company has been in business since 2005 and provides die cut foam, fibers and other materials for the auto industry. The company will now include production of face shields in its portfolio.
Ninety-nine companies applied for funding. With today’s announcement, a total of 13 companies received grants. Each proposal was reviewed by a panel. The panel members are:
- Manager Alain Piette, MI-SBTDC Technology Team
- Dr. Carmine Jabri, co-founder of E.M.M.A. International Consulting Group, Inc.
- Jaideep Rajput, director of commercialization for Beaumont Health Services
- Michael W. Long, Ph.D., executive director of Oakland University Mobilization Zone
- Julie Killian, CPA, Clayton & McKervey
- Dan Radomski, director, Lawrence Technological University Centrepolis Accelerator
County Commissioners Janet Jackson, D-Southfield; William Miller, D-Farmington and Michael Spisz, R-Oxford, participated in an advisory role. A business applying for a grant needed to demonstrate the ability to execute the project during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Eligible use of funds includes:
- Procuring necessary equipment to manufacture supplies
- Logistics, shipping, technology upgrades
- Other costs related to operationalizing new product lines.