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April 19, 2020 | Tom Ballard

CARES Act includes $50 million in funding for nation’s MEP centers

As part of the recently passed CARES Act, officially known as the ”Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security Act,’‘ there is $50 million in grant funding available to help the nationwide network of Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers help their customers.

The State of Tennessee program, known at the “TMEP,” is operated by the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services. Through a formal Request for Applications, MEP centers may apply for funding to support new projects without the normally required non-federal matching requirement.

Successful applications will allow MEP centers to help manufacturers recover from workforce and supply chain interruptions; apply for private insurance claims and disaster loans from the Small Business Administration; and access resources at the federal, state and local level. MEP centers may also use the funds to assess the operating needs of manufacturers, scout for manufacturers that can produce critically needed medical equipment and supplies, and organize peer-to-peer manufacturing councils.

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