Michael Bosma: Clock ticking for ‘free’ money for manufacturers (Voices)
Covering Your Assets
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently received a $50 million funding allocation under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
This funding will be allocated among the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and is designed to help manufacturers respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NIST MEP is a national network that serves small U.S. manufacturers by providing access to professionals who understand manufacturers’ needs. MEP centers provide companies with resources to:
- Enhance growth
- Improve productivity
- Reduce costs
- Expand capacity
CARES Act funding will be distributed to the MEP centers via an application process. The amount of funding allocated to an MEP will be based on the number of manufacturers in its market.
For example, the Ohio Development Services Agency received a $2.3 million award to help Ohio manufacturers respond to COVID-19 challenges.
The $50 million in CARES Act funding allows 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,
- access resources at the federal, state, and local levels,
- 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.
Manufacturers can also take advantage of the opportunity to receive no-cost assessments to identify challenges, expand internal and third-party report training, access cybersecurity evaluations, and obtain other services that are provided by their local MEP.
In Nevada, the MEP is Nevada Industry Excellence.
According to their website: “Nevada Industry Excellence (NVIE) helps Nevada’s industrial companies achieve their goals of enhanced productivity, increased profitability and improved global competitiveness. We provide services and access to resources that enhance growth, improve processes, and increase profitability. Industry Experts: NVIE is a non-nonprofit organization connected through a national network of manufacturers.
“Our field staff have an average of 28 years in industry leadership positions. Our extended staff of third party experts helps us bring timely and focused services to companies based on their specific needs and goals. Affordable & Friendly: NVIE brings business and technical consulting to Nevada’s industrial sector. Our services are partially subsidized by federal and state funds, making them affordable to clients.
“We work in a friendly and approachable manner to help save you time and money. Customized Solutions: We understand that each company has a unique set of challenges and obstacles to overcome. That’s why we work with clients one-on-one to create a customized action plan to address your goals.”
Many Nevada manufacturers have never interfaced with NVIE. In order to leverage the Nevada allocation of MEP funds, I recommend we coordinate a meeting to get the process started.
The clock is, after all, ticking! Many manufacturers need access to what the bank considers capital to grow their other lines of credit, etc.
This article is general in nature. Contact your nearest CLA CPA to see how your specific facts apply to these rules. CLA’s Ginny Veit provided invaluable insight and assistance with this article.
Michael Bosma, CPA, is Principal-in-Charge of the Reno office of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. His NNBW column, “Covering Your Assets,” focuses on effective planning strategies for every business owner. Reach him for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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