FALL RIVER, Mass. – MassDevelopment has provided a $1 million equipment loan from the CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund to Merrow Manufacturing, which will use funds to support the first phase of a major expansion and buy equipment – including a high-speed spreader/cutter machine and an ultrasonic machine for seaming and lamination – that will modernize the company’s manufacturing operations. The company is a member of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Manufacturing Emergency Response Team and has been at the forefront of Massachusetts’ pandemic response as one of the Commonwealth’s largest producers of personal protective equipment. Merrow Manufacturing, which currently employs approximately 235 employees, expects to create an additional 150 new jobs in the next three years.
The 2020 CARES Act authorized the U.S. Economic Development Administration to make grants to entities like MassDevelopment to capitalize revolving loan funds that make loans to small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Massachusetts is home to many world-class manufacturers, several of whom, like Merrow Manufacturing, were crucial partners in the Commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “I’m pleased to see that financing from MassDevelopment’s allocation of the CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund is supporting this company and other Massachusetts businesses as they turn their attention to recovering and rebuilding from the pandemic.”
“Merrow Manufacturing was there for the people of Massachusetts and our nation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “Now, MassDevelopment is proud to deliver loan financing from the CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund to help the company expand its operations, buy new equipment, and bring more jobs to the Gateway City of Fall River.”
Established in 1838, Merrow is one of the largest textile manufacturing companies still in operation in Massachusetts’ south coast region. Brothers Charlie and Owen Merrow are the eighth generation to own and manage the company. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Merrow became the largest manufacturer of USA-sourced reusable and disposable medical isolation gowns in the country.
“Merrow Manufacturing has been a source of pride in Fall River since long before the pandemic,” said Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan. “However, their expertise and commitment to the Commonwealth has never been more visible than during the COVID-19 crisis. I am thrilled to see MassDevelopment’s investment in a business that is symbolic of Fall River’s spirit, and I look forward to supporting the continued growth of Merrow Manufacturing.”
“Merrow’s post-pandemic industrial based expansion of 100% USA sourced medical protective equipment, with a mission to operate at scale and as a sustainable agile industrial platform, strengthens the nation’s public health and medical infrastructure,” said Merrow Group Companies CEO Charlie Merrow. “With a focus on decarbonization and closed-loop medical products, Merrow creates a new product category available to USA healthcare: recycled and recyclable medical products, manufactured in the USA with sustainable processes. Private, federal and state organizations aligned with this mission are welcome to contact us.”