PPE Innovation Grant FAQs

  • Where can I get more information about the PPE Innovation Grant application?
    • Please make sure to read the Hawaii PPE Supply Chain Program Guidelines, here.
    • The Informational Session recording and presentation slides are posted on our webpage here.
  • When do the grant applications open and what is the deadline to apply? 
    • Online applications are open now and can be accessed here. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Review sessions are scheduled from September through the first week of November. Complete applications with all required compliances and requested information should be received no later than October 26, 2020.  Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible. See the estimated timeline below.
    • PPE Innovation Grant Schedule
  • What is the minimum and maximum award amount per recipient?
    • The minimum grant application amount that will be considered is $10,000, and the maximum is $500,000, unless additional funding is determined by HTDC.
  • If a company can justify the need for a grant greater than $500,000, should that be included in the initial application? Or should the request for the initial application be limited to $500,000?
    • The applicant may include their total grant amount with a clear and detailed justification for your funding request in the budget narrative. We recommend providing a base budget and narrative for the request up to $500,000, and a supplemental budget request for the amount over $500,000. 
    • Requests that exceed $500,000 will require special review and applicants may be asked to provide additional information to justify their request. Please note the review for these types of requests will take more time. Based on the committee’s review of the proposal, it may be decided to not fund the full requested amount.
  • What expenses are eligible?
    • Grants may be used by any recipient for any of the following purposes, provided it is related to PPE:
      • 1) Purchase of manufacturing equipment, materials
      • 2) Training of employees on the use of manufacturing equipment
      • 3) Wage, compensation, or allowance for employees of the Business as related to PPE
      • 4) Expenses related to the general operations of the manufacturing facility
  • Are costs directly related to equipment shipping, installation, transformers, electrical upgrades, building structural improvements to support new equipment covered under grant?
    • Expenses must be directly tied to the equipment being used in the manufacturing process for the PPE. Same with installation of electrical upgrades and structural improvements – if they were installed specifically for the manufacturing equipment being used to process the PPE product, then those expenses may qualify. The budget narrative and justification you include in the application is very important as this will help the Review Committee understand how the expenses are an integral part of the PPE manufacturing process.
  • Are the costs limited to US sources or can grant funds be spent on international suppliers?
    • While we encourage you to support local businesses, national and international purchases are allowed. Please include a clear and detailed justification for your proposed budget and expenses in the budget narrative.
  • Do already purchased expenses qualify, and if so, how far back can the purchases go?
    • Yes, previously purchased expenses may qualify and you may include it with your budget and budget narrative on your application. Following the federal CARES Act guidelines, allowed purchases must be incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020. Note: Payment for goods or services for which monies were granted under any other federal or state program are not allowed.
  • Is the expectation that the PPE supplies being created are FDA certified? If not, how will they be able to be used in a medical environment?
    • It is preferred for the PPE supplies covered in the grant request to meet national standards, however it is not a requirement. It is for the applicant to keep in mind that potential buyers may require the products to meet certain regulations and standards. If you are manufacturing to specific regulation standards and/or requirements, it would be good to include that in the justification to better support what you are proposing.
  • Is there a definition of “value add”?  What percentage of the product needs to be “manufactured” in Hawaii?
    • While there is no exact percentage of the product that needs to be made in Hawaii, the intent of this grant program is to support Hawaii manufacturers and help establish a local supply chain of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. This grant is not for distributors bringing in ready-made products. If you are adding value to materials being brought into the state to produce PPE and/or cleaning supplies, please make sure to provide a clear and detailed justification in the budget narrative to support your request, including how much of your product is made in Hawaii.
  • For any jobs that may be created through this grant, should they be long-term employment opportunities, or would short-term employment also be a viable option? And is there a base-line pay (hourly/salary) that would be expected for any jobs that are created?
    • The goal is long term employment. As grant funds must be incurred by December 30, 2020, HTDC understands positions may be brought on as short-term employment, however we encourage employers to consider offering Hawaii residents permanent, long term employment. While this grant offers an opportunity for businesses to expand, please keep in mind it is not a long-term opportunity. We encourage interested applicants to work with your CFO, accountants, CPAs, etc. to better understand your own business capability, to survive in the long term.
  • There was an indication that a new company could be formed from a spinoff. If that is done, then there will not be any 2019 financials to provide. Is that acceptable?
    • You may provide your core business financial documentation and provide justification in the budget narrative that you can do what you are proposing, to help the reviewers understand what you are trying to do, and that you have capability and capacity to deliver.
  • I am still waiting for my vendor compliance through Hawaii Compliance Express (HCE) but it is still showing Not Compliant. What should I do?
    • If your HCE Vendor Compliance is showing “Compliant” under these departments: HI DoTax, HI DCCA, and HI DLIR, and “Submitted” under IRS, please attach a screenshot of your HCE application status to your PPE Grant application form in place of the Certificate of Vendor Compliance (On application form, 2. General Criteria). Do not submit your application if the individual status for any of the 4 departments show as “Not Compliant”. Please contact the respective department to clear the compliance issue.
  • The application is not letting me upload more documents / files are too large to upload. How can I get these to you?
    • There is a 25 MB individual file size limit. There is no limit on the number of documents. To add more documents to your online application, please click on the link “Additional Attachments.”
  • Can I send you samples of my PPE product to go with my proposal?
    • Samples are optional and may be mailed via USPS to: Entrepreneurs Sandbox, ATTN: HTDC, 643 Ilalo St., Honolulu, HI 96813. Please make sure to include your name, company name, email address, and phone number.
    • We recommend uploading photos of the product to your application.
  • Will we be able to hire new employees to boost production? Or will it be limited to current employees?
    • We encourage you to hire as it is justified for the project and makes sense for your business.
  • Can someone help us with our application, as well as the financial information requested on the application? 
    • The Hawaii Small Business Development Center (HISBDC) can provide guidance on your application and on the required documentation (2019 and current to-date): Profit & Loss (P&L) and Balance Sheets. Please request assistance here.
    • HTDC Mentors on Hawaii Island and Kauai Island can also assist you with your application. Contact Tom Leonard at tom.ni3@htdc.org if you are on Hawaii Island, or Warren Doi at warren.ni3@htdc.org if you are on Kauai.
  • May we submit more than one application?
    • Please submit only one application per company. If you have multiple requests, you may combine them into one submission.
  • Can a company win multiple awards?
    • No more than one award to any business is allowed under this grant.
  • What happens after the funding is received? What will be expected/required from the applicant and what is HTDC’s role at that time?
    • By accepting a grant award, recipients agree to complete surveys from HTDC designed to measure the economic and employment impact of this program and to comply with Federal regulations. Recipients shall complete the surveys annually for five (5) years following the award. If selected for an award for manufacturing equipment, the recipient agrees to own and operate the equipment in the State for a minimum of two (2) years.HTDC and INNOVATE Hawaii may request further information which will be used to highlight a company’s achievements and the success of the grant programs. INNOVATE Hawaii is also available to assist companies with services beyond the grant project.
    • This award is funded from the CARES Act and should be treated as funds from a Federal grant. This may or may not trigger additional Federal reporting and/or auditing requirements. Please consult with your CPA, corporate attorney, or other business professionals for any such requirements.
  • Who do I contact if I have questions?