In an effort to maintain manufacturing jobs in New Jersey while simultaneously promoting the creation of coronavirus-related products, Assemblyman Bill Moen sponsors a bill that would allocate $10 million to small manufacturing companies throughout the state for the production of relevant medical supplies.
Under the bill (A-4304), small businesses at risk of discontinuing their manufacturing operations due to a reduction in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic would be eligible to receive a grant of $25,000 to $250,000. The Economic Development Authority (EDA) would be given a total of $10 million from the federal CARES Act money allocated to New Jersey for distribution to qualified manufacturing companies for the purpose of developing products that can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“Many businesses throughout New Jersey are struggling to stay in operation right now, and the manufacturing industry is no exception,” said Moen (D-Camden, Gloucester). “Prior to the pandemic, our state had nearly 9,000 manufacturing companies employing over 245,000 people. It would be a detriment to our economy and the livelihood of countless residents if we were to lose our manufacturing power.”
The money allocated to the EDA would be split into two halves. $5 million would go towards companies manufacturing a COVID-19 vaccine or therapeutics while the other half would go towards companies producing healthcare industry products such as personal protective equipment (PPE), relevant pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
“Not only is it important to provide assistance to the manufacturing industry to help residents keep their jobs, but we must also prioritize the types of products that can help advance our COVID-19 response efforts,” said Moen. “Unfortunately, we have seen that we cannot rely on outside manufacturers to provide us with enough medical supplies, including PPE, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. We need to be more self-reliant when it comes to supplying residents and professionals with the materials they need to weather a public health crisis.”
The legislation was introduced in late June and has been referred to the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee.