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Locally made PPE available online

Personal protective equipment made by local companies who were given federal funds to help grow the local supply are now available for purchase online, the state announced.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an immediate shortage of PPE and cleaning supplies throughout the world, which greatly threatened Hawaii due to its very limited local capacity to manufacture PPE, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said Tuesday.

Using CARES Act funds, the Personal Protective Equipment Supply Chain Program provided grants of up to $500,000 to small businesses throughout the state to help establish a local supply chain of cleaning supplies and PPE. The program awarded all $10 million of the appropriated funds to 36 companies — including Maui County-based businesses like Kahele Maui and HNu Photonics — and the projects were completed by Dec. 30.

The products are now available on the Buy Hawaii, Give Aloha website at invest.hawaii.gov/buy-hawaii/personal-protective-equipment/.

The platform was launched in July to support Hawaii businesses affected by travel restrictions caused by the pandemic.

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