FLINT TWP. — As the state begins to reopen for commerce, the Flint Township Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is helping local businesses to get a head start on recovery efforts.
Last week, the EDC assisted over 20 local small businesses in filling out applications for a Match on Main Grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The grant, which totals $50,000, is being used to provide resources to existing businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The Match on Main grants are being distributed to local government units and economic development organizations to administer to eligible small businesses located in traditional commercial districts, including downtowns, neighborhood and commercial districts or areas planned and zoned for concentrated commercial development.
To be eligible for the grant, businesses in Flint Township had to be located in the township’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) or one of the township’s two Commercial Improvement Authority (CIA) districts. They also had to have 25 or fewer employees, identify as a for-profit business and prove that they had suffered a financial hardship related to COVID-19. Businesses that were part of a franchise or located in a strip mall did not qualify for the grant.
Qualifying businesses had until last Friday to fill out and submit the grant applications.
Once the township receives the grant, the EDC will equally divide the funds among the eligible local businesses. Each business must receive at least $2,000 of the grant money.
Tracey Tucker, Economic Enhancement Coordinator for the township, said the grant will provide a welcome relief for several hard-hit small businesses.
“Like many communities, we’ve suffered major losses, and unemployment rates have skyrocketed due to the inability of businesses to be open,” she said. “These funds will help them to reopen or to purchase PPE or materials that they need to rehabilitate their buildings to keep employees and customers safe.”
In addition to informing business owners about the MEDC grant, the EDC has been assisting the reopening process by running ads on local radio stations. Tucker said that the ad campaign is aimed at informing the public about safe practices they should follow as businesses reopen their doors.
“We’re reminding customers to follow guidelines like handwashing, wearing masks and calling ahead to businesses before you go to them,” she said. “We all need to work together to bring back the business community.”
To learn more about the Flint Township EDC’s efforts to support local businesses, visit www.flinttownship.org/departments/economicdevelopment.