In brief

MDHHS acting to increase support for families

LANSING — Michigan residents who receive child support in addition to cash assistance through the Family Independence Program (FIP) will soon see more money they can use to buy food, clothing and other items for their children under a change in Michigan’s fiscal year 2020 budget.

The budget signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer includes $946,000 to support child support passthrough payments of up to $200 a month for qualifying households that receive assistance through FIP. This relatively modest investment will have a substantial return for Michigan, with an estimated 2,700 families receiving an additional $2.5 million in child support. Currently, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) keeps child support payments that would be paid to parents who receive FIP. This collected money is paid to the federal and state government to offset FIP expenses. However, federal law permits states to “pass through” up to $200 a month of child support to families with two or more children and up to $100 to families with one child. Pass-through child support payments will begin in January. Letters will be mailed to all affected FIP recipients notifying them of the change. — G.G.

GM and Chambers announce grants recipients

FLINT — General Motors and the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce recently announced 15 recipients of the Moving Flint Forward Small Business grants, totaling $150,000. The GM-funded initiative supports revitalization efforts across the city’s neighborhoods by strengthening local businesses. The grantees were drawn from of a range of businesses – including auto body repair, childcare, retail, food and entertainment, and professional services – with at least one establishment located in each of Flint’s four quadrants. Flint & Genesee Chamber CEO Tim Herman said the grant program provides a shot in the arm for Flint’s ongoing recovery.

“As I have stated before, Flint’s revitalization must extend beyond downtown and into our neighborhoods for there to be sustained community renewal,” said Herman. “The broad-based distribution of the grants is an important step toward accomplishing that goal and a solid indication of the breadth of Flint’s small business community.”

More than 100 businesses inquired or applied for the grants, which were awarded on a competitive basis by a review panel comprised of representatives from GM, the Flint & Genesee Chamber, the City of Flint, local grant-making organizations and community members. The funds may be used to help eligible businesses expand, make repairs and leasehold improvements, purchase inventory and equipment, and make façade improvements.

The program was open to anyone who owns and operates a small business within the city of Flint. The business must have no more than 20 employees and could not be a franchise operation.

The recipients are: Honey Bee Palace Childcare Center, Great Lakes Facility Management, N’Dapanda Consignment Shop, Totem Books, Beck’s Barber and Beauty, Tenacity Brewing, FlintPrints, Sherman’s Lounge, Vern’s Collision, GoodBoy Clothing, Liberty Way Holdings, Sisco’s Catering, Glam Box Boutique, In & Out Complete Services and Holmes Building & Construction

Details: Visit FlintandGenesee.org/Moving-Flint- Forward. — G.G.