ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — State officials launched the Maryland Manufacturing Network Supplier Portal to help connect suppliers and buyers in need of critically personal protective equipment needed to combat coronavirus.

It’s a one-stop shop for PPE.

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“It’s a connection platform both to support our Maryland manufactures and make sure people know that there is PPE being produced in their own back yard,” Heather Gramm, of the Maryland Department of Commerce, said.

Gramm said this is a key resource to connection healthcare providers with essential businesses with manufactures who can meet the demand.

“We were overwhelmed in a good way with companies who wanted to help… and buyers who needed to find that information and there wasn’t a good place to provide all of that,” she said.

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With more than 200 Maryland-based companies signed up, Gramm said suppliers can sign up online, and once approved, they connect with those in need to make a sale.

Increasing Maryland’s PPE supply is one of the four building blocks, Gov. Larry Hogan said would allow for the state to reopen.

Dating back to March 27, the State of Maryland has received:

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  • KN95 masks: 4.5M units
  • Gloves: 3.5M units
  • Face Shields: 1.1M units
  • N95 masks: 600K units
  • Gowns: 150K units
  • Hand Sanitizer: 47K gallons
  • Infrared Thermometers: 5K units

“This week we launched the Maryland manufacturing network supplier portal, which is an online platform that helps connect our Maryland suppliers, with buyers who are looking to source PPE, and other critical supplies,” Gov. Hogan said. “Due to the tremendous and urgent demand and the serious lack of worldwide supply of PPP, states have had to go to extraordinary lengths to acquire this critical protective equipment on an emergency basis. Unfortunately across the country, there have been some cases of fraud.”

Gov. Hogan said the state has been making great progress getting more PPE.

“We have recently acquired 4.5 million K and 95 masks. 600,095 masks,” Gov. Hogan added. “150,000 Medical gowns, a 1.1 million face shields. 3.5 million surgical gloves and much more is coming in to our warehouses on a daily basis.”

Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz said that the response has been overwhelming.

“As the coronavirus pandemic unfolded in our state, many of our local manufacturers, particularly those that were already producing PPE, reached out to us to see how they could help in increasing production of these critical items,” Schulz said. “This overwhelming response from our business community led us to partner with Maryland MEP to develop this tool which will enable buyers to search for Maryland companies that are making the supplies they need most.”

Gramm added that this is an important step on the road to recovery.

“This is an example of how we can support each other,” she said.

If you would like more information about this new portal, please click right here.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Kelsey Kushner