State officials have unveiled $50 million in new grant programs for Missouri businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon briefs Capitol reporters in Jefferson City on July 14, 2020 (photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) Director Rob Dixon tells Capitol reporters that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted businesses in the Show-Me State.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but they have been struggling since the onset of COVID-19. Many businesses have had to rethink their operations model to work safely,” Dixon says.

Dixon says a $30 million grant program will help provide relief to small businesses and family farms, for reimbursement of business interruption costs due to the pandemic. Funds can be used for things such as facility redesign and labor, air filtration systems and workers salaries during closure or reduced hours.

DED has also announced a $20 million program that’s aimed at increasing production of personal protective equipment (PPE). Dixon says PPE supply is critical to Missouri’s health care response and to the economy’s re-opening.

“We need to bring PPE manufacturing closer to home to make sure that we’re not dependent on any other country for these vital products,” says Dixon. “So to those Missouri companies who’ve already begun making PPE, we thank you sincerely.”

Director Dixon tells Missourinet that more than 200 Missouri companies have retooled to produce PPE.

The $20 million grant program will assist Missouri manufacturers, by awarding grants to reimburse companies facing high PPE production costs.

The PPE grant program is statewide, and the number of grants per applicant is limited to one. The company must incur or have incurred costs between March 1, 2020 and December 1, 2020.

The Department of Economic Development will require a project impact report by July 2021.

Missouri now has 33,624 confirmed COVID-19 cases, up from Sunday’s number of 33,094.

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