Brunswick, ME — This afternoon, U.S. Senator Susan Collins visited STARC Systems to tour their manufacturing facility at Brunswick Landing and speak with employees. STARC’s major products include modular reusable containment walls that can create negative air pressure isolation rooms, which are primarily used in hospitals to isolate patients or to keep dust and debris from spreading during renovations.
“Starting with just two employees working out of a garage to now operating out of an impressive facility at Brunswick Landing with 70 employees, STARC Systems is a shining example of a Maine success story,” said Senator Collins.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, STARC’s dedicated workforce has continued to manufacture state-of-the-art containment systems for health care facilities across the country. These pressurized barriers help keep patients and medical professionals safe,”Senator Collins continued. “I am pleased that STARC received a forgivable PPP loan to help pay their employees. Their hard work and innovation are making a real difference, and I will continue to support them every step of the way.”
STARC received a forgivable loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Senator Collins co-authored the PPP to help small employers stay afloat and continue to pay their workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its launch in early April, more than 28,000 Maine small businesses and self-employed individuals received nearly $2.3 billion in forgivable loans, supporting approximately 240,000 jobs throughout the state.
Recognizing the importance of STARC’s work, Senator Collins authored an amendment to the Senate’s fiscal year 2021 NDAA requiring the Defense Health Agency to conduct a study on military requirements for commercial off-the-shelf negative air pressure room containment systems to address the overwhelming demand from civilian hospitals and federal agencies. Like other companies, STARC was unable to satisfy immediate demand for these systems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Collins’ amendment aims to ensure the Department of Defense reviews its requirements for negative air pressure room containment systems so that it can plan to have the appropriate number of systems already on-hand in advance of potential future pandemics or similar emergencies.