Ontario Invests in Made in Hamilton Surgical Masks

Published on September 02, 2021

Ontario Together Fund supports homegrown manufacturing to build-up domestic supply of safe and effective PPE


News Release

HAMILTON — Niko Apparel Systems is investing more than $250,000 to help automate the production of surgical masks with the support of $125,000 from the Ontario Together Fund. With this investment, Niko will leverage existing production processes, materials, supply chain networks, sales, and distribution networks to strengthen Ontario’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The renewed Ontario Together Fund is focused on supporting homegrown manufacturing and innovation to combat COVID-19 and providing other goods critical to the health, safety, and security of Ontarians beyond this pandemic. It is doing so under the following strategic pillars:

  • Strengthening Ontario’s domestic manufacturing capacity;
  • Supporting homegrown technologies and innovative solutions;
  • Strengthening Ontario’s MedTech ecosystem.

“Through the Ontario Together Fund, our government is making targeted investments in domestic businesses with the ideas and solutions to support Ontario through this pandemic, as well as future crisis,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Niko Apparel’s ability to develop, certify, and manufacture surgical masks is another example of Ontario innovation at its very best.”

Niko Apparel Systems is an Ontario owned and operated custom manufacturer of team uniforms and performance apparel. It manufactures and supplies local teams and groups in the greater Hamilton area and throughout the country. The company manufactured and supplied uniforms for Canadian Olympians in four sports categories, one of which was for the gold medal winning Canadian Women’s Eight in rowing. With this investment, Niko will leverage existing production processes, materials, supply chain networks, sales, and distribution networks to strengthen Ontario’s supply of PPE.

“We are grateful for the funding from the Ontario government, which allowed Niko to maintain key staff and pivot while our main activity, custom manufactured sportswear, was put on hold due to the pandemic,” said Joseph Camillo, President, Niko Apparel. “Niko adapted and became one of many companies who stepped up to provide much-needed PPE for our community. The province recognized the importance of Ontario manufacturing as an integral part of the response to this global pandemic and we look forward to continue being a part of this important sector for years to come.”

“Niko Apparel is one of many manufacturers in Hamilton that have been willing to retool their operations with innovative solutions to fight COVID-19”, said Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook. “Our government has been there, taking extraordinary measures throughout the pandemic to support businesses and organizations that want to do their part.”

Healthy people are essential for a healthy economy. Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy provides the resources necessary to finish the battle with COVID-19, building on the government’s record investments to protect health and jobs during the global pandemic.


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