GENESEE COUNTY – Small businesses in Flint and Genesee County impacted by the COVID-19 virus can now apply for grants and loans through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program.
The program, established by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), will provide up to $20 million in grants and loans to provide economic assistance to Michigan’s small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 virus, and in turn help support workers and their families facing economic uncertainty during the outbreak.
“Small businesses across our state are facing unprecedented challenges as we take every step possible to mitigate the spread of coronavirus,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “With this funding, we can provide real assistance to support our businesses, communities, entrepreneurs and workers around the state impacted by the tough, but necessary actions we are taking to mitigate the spread of this virus.”
Genesee County has been allotted $260,000 for these grants, with a maximum grant of $10,000 for businesses that meet certain criteria. In addition, the state has $10 million available for low-interest small business loans, ranging from $50,000 and $200,000.
“This program provides cash assistance to small businesses that need help now,” said Tyler Rossmaessler, director of economic development for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.
The grants and loans will support businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce and may be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business, Rossmaessler said.
There is a short window for applying for the grant/loan program, and award decisions will be equally quick.
Applications must be completed and emailed to MIRelief@flintandgenesee.org by 11:59 p.m. March 29. No mailed or hard copy applications can be accepted.
Applications will be reviewed by Flint & Genesee Economic Development (ED) Group and partners on March 30. Recipients will be notified on March 31. The MEDC will begin grant and loan contracts on April 1.
Key information to know about the application process includes:
There is one application, regardless of whether a business is applying for a grant or a loan. A business may receive a grant or a loan, but not both.
The grants will be administrated by 15 regional economic development organizations throughout the state, which combined cover all 83 counties in Michigan.
All applications or recommendations for Michigan Small Business Relief Program loans will be referred from the Flint & Genesee ED Group to the MEDC for evaluation and disbursement.
Full details are available online at flintandgenesee.org/michigan-small-business-relief-program. The site includes a brief questionnaire to determine if a business qualifies for the Michigan Small Business Relief Program. If it does, the application link will appear below.
For questions or more information, please contact the Flint & Genesee Chamber’s Economic Development Group at firstname.lastname@example.org. – G.G.