INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb singled out a Rensselaer business for doing all it can for healthcare workers during the pandemic.
Indiana Face Mask, which is located on State Road 114 in the old Greene’s Furniture Store, is in the process of producing N95 masks and other medical-grade supplies to aid in the COVID response effort.
The business opened this summer and plans to employ over a dozen workers.
Holcomb recognized Indiana Face Mask during his weekly news conference from Indianapolis on Wednesday.
“They stepped up and jumped through all the hoops and applied federally to be licensed to make N95 masks,” Holcomb said. “Out of thousands of submissions, they were one of five in the nation that was approved. We’re pretty proud of that and wanted to say congratulations to the family, to all the employees, all the teammates, to Fred and Stephanie and Clayton Geyer for their perseverance and answering the call.”
Founded by Fred Geyer, together with his wife, Stephanie, and their son Clayton, Indiana Face Mask transformed a vacant, 25,360-square-foot building in Rensselaer — the old Greene’s Furniture building on State Road 114 — into a federally-approved, personal protective equipment (PPE) production facility.
The building is fully operational and will allow Indiana Face Mask to meet increased demand for N95 masks and other vital PPE.
“They’re not only going to produce millions, which is very comforting in and of itself, but this is one of the stories where they’re hiring 14 more people to come help,” Holcomb said. “That’s a win-win-win.”
N95 masks are tight-fitting, cup-shaped face masks primarily used in health care and industrial settings to protect workers against the spread of respiratory diseases such as the COVID-19 virus. At full capacity, the company expects to manufacture 17 million N95, Class 1 and Class 3 surgical masks annually, according to The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), which highlighted the business in a press release lately.
“We’re happy to be able to bring tested, certified and proven PPE supplies to our frontline workers here in Indiana and across the nation,” Fred Geyer, owner of Indiana Face Mask, told the IEDC. “As a company, we’ve always been focused on delivering quality, American-made products, and we’re excited to uphold these same values as we work together with the state and city to launch this new venture in our community.”
Geyer also owns American Melt Blown & Filtration, a filtration manufacturer, in Rensselaer. It is housed in the former Schumacher plant.
To support its growth, Indiana Face Mask plans to add 14 full-time associates by the end of 2020.
“Rensselaer is pleased to assist Mr. Geyer and Indiana Face Mask in their venture, which will fulfill a critical need for N95 PPE masks and create local employment opportunities in the process,” said Rensselaer Mayor Stephen Wood.
Across the state, Hoosier businesses like Indiana Face Mask are answering the call to support the global COVID-19 response effort, leveraging their resources, supply chains and workers to produce PPE.
Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IEDC has secured commitments for more than 18.9 million pieces of PPE – up from the more than 12.2 million last reported on May 15 – for hospitals, first responders, long-term care facilities and health care providers treating COVID-19 patients along with small businesses and nonprofits through the Indiana Small Business PPE Marketplace.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Indiana Face Mask up to $130,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired.
At the request of the Jasper County Economic Development Organization, the city of Rensselaer approved a personal property tax abatement worth approximately $32,000 contingent upon Indiana Face Mask’s anticipated capital investment and job creation.
“Across the state, Indiana businesses are answering the call to support the COVID-19 response effort, shifting gears to produce, source and donate personal protective equipment to frontline workers and health care providers,” Holcomb said this summer. “We’re incredibly grateful for the Geyer family’s commitment to supporting our state and their fellow Hoosiers during these unprecedented times. We look forward to witnessing Indiana Face Mask’s growth in northwest Indiana and the quality jobs they create in the community.”