Local company making PPE receives $1.9 million 'repayable contribution' from federal government

Surgical mask (file photo)

A Waterloo Region company producing surgical masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic has received a "repayable contribution" of $1.9 million from the federal government.

Swenco Ltd. built a second facility to produce surgical face masks, including a certified clean room and specialized equipment to manufacture masks. In a news release, the government said the company will be able to produce 7.6 million masks per month and will sell more than 75 per cent of their products will be sold domestically.

“The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing our domestic and international supply of certified PPE with made-in-Canada solutions. Through FedDev Ontario, today's investment in Swenco Ltd. again answers the call to action to ensure vital equipment is available for essential frontline workers across Canada, while creating jobs right here in Waterloo Region," said Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger in the release.

The funding was part of FedDev Ontario.

Officials said the company will also be able to create 24 new jobs in Waterloo Region to help with the production of PPE.

“Swenco Ltd. has been in business in Ontario for over 59 years. Like many Canadians and Canadian businesses, we were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. We decided that we needed to come forward and be a part of the solution. With the incredible support from FedDev Ontario, we were able to open a state-of-the-art mask production facility in Waterloo and with this expansion we hope to continue supporting our community for years to come," Paul Sweeny, Swenco president, said in the release.

In December, the province announced it was investing $2 million in Swenco to help build the new facility to produce masks.