Ontario announces $50 million fund to help businesses produce essential medical gear and supplies
As healthcare professionals and government officials continue to warn of a looming shortage of essential medical equipment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government has announced a $50 million fund to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations to produce said supplies.
The Ontario Together Fund, announced Wednesday morning by the Ford government, will help businesses begin to manufacture medical gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment and ventilators.
The fund will "help companies retool, build capacity or adopt the technological changes needed to produce supplies and equipment for hospitals, long-term care homes and other critical public services," according to the new Ontario Together Fund web portal.
Businesses, researchers and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the government's response to COVID-19 can submit a proposal online.
During these challenging times, the #OntarioSpirit is shining stronger than ever. We can’t rely on traditional supply chains, but there’s nothing that we can’t make right here in Ontario. Today we announced $50 million to help companies help Ontario. https://t.co/FnoktHcbik pic.twitter.com/DSVt9gbOEi— Doug Ford (@fordnation) April 1, 2020
"Ontario has an army of innovators, entrepreneurs, and the hardest-working people in the world ready to roll up their sleeves, support our frontline healthcare workers, and beat this virus," Ford said in a statement.
"This mass mobilization of government, business, communities and private citizens to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe and healthy represents one of the largest and most ambitious efforts undertaken by Ontario in generations."
The Ontario government says they will select the most viable, innovative proposals that can help provide essential goods and services to residents as quickly as possible. They'll also be looking for proposals that provide the greatest benefit to the people of Ontario.
April 01 - 2020: New $50 million Ontario Together Fund will support the development of essential equipment and supplies https://t.co/F5MMZScHw3— JasonDReid (@JasonDReid) April 1, 2020
The government also says the funding of $50 million is exclusively for the COVID-19 outbreak, it is time-limited and will be available to companies and organizations across the province.
"Only by working together and harnessing the full potential of Ontario's innovators will we be able to confront the growing challenge of COVID-19," said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott.
"The Ontario Together Fund will help enable our business community to provide the supplies and equipment our frontline heroes need as they continue to keep Ontarians safe."
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