Neil Druce and Steph Cooke hold locally manufactured hand sanitiser.

Manufacturers of critical PPE from the Cootamundra electorate can now apply for grants from a $5 million fund to support local jobs and protect NSW communities against COVID-19.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said grants of between $100,000 and $500,000 will be available to eligible manufacturers.

“Our manufacturers have done an incredible job in adapting to the challenges of this pandemic, and these grants are available to help support and grow our local businesses,” Ms Cooke said.

“Manufacturers should consider applying for these grants so they can be part of the effort in ensuring equipment is available to support the needs of our frontline workers, industry and our citizens during uncertain times.

“This scheme will strengthen our domestic manufacturing sector within the state and support regional jobs, businesses and communities.”

The program will help NSW reduce its dependence on PPE imports and provide security for Australia’s needs into the future.

“It makes sense to support local business, which means more local jobs. We have an opportunity to promote Australian manufacturing at this time,” Ms Cooke said.

“All NSW-based companies that meet the eligibility criteria should absolutely apply.”

The new grants will be awarded to existing manufacturers who can demonstrate their ability to ramp up or repurpose to manufacture face masks, gloves, gowns, disinfectant, and medical grade handwash and soap, or their components.

Some PPE products are not included due sufficient supply levels in NSW. The grants are available to existing NSW manufacturers with a turnover of more than $1 million, with applications closing on 12 October.

For more information and to apply visit https://www.business.nsw.gov.au/ppe-manufacturing-grants