Grants totaling more than $2.34 million have been awarded to 236 small businesses and nonprofits in Flint and Genesee County through the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s (MEDC) Michigan Small Business Restart Program.
In Genesee County, the grants, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000, helped to retain 1,950 jobs at area businesses. The grantees represent a variety of industry sectors, from small retail shops to nonprofits to manufacturing:
- About 90 percent of the grants were $10,000
- Nearly 60 percent of the grantees were either minority-, veteran- or women-owned businesses. Of that, 30 percent were minority-owned establishments.
The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, which administered the program locally, received nearly 1,300 applications for the program.
“Judging from the number of heartfelt messages the Flint & Genesee Chamber has received from the grantees who were awarded funding, the impact of the Michigan Small Business Restart Program on our region is clear as a bell,” says Tyler Rossmaessler, the Chamber’s director of economic development. “For many of these owners, the program truly delivered a lifeline of support.”
The MEDC-funded initiative was launched to provide relief for small businesses and nonprofits that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds may be used as working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses.
Grants were awarded on a competitive basis. To be considered, organizations must first have met the following conditions:
- A business with 50 or fewer total employees that can demonstrate it had been affected by the COVID-19 emergency
- Needed working capital to support eligible expenses
- Demonstrated an income loss because of the COVID-19 emergency.
The grantees were among the more than 11,300 organizations statewide that received grants.
Approved in July, the Michigan Small Business Restart Program allocated $100 million of federal CARES Act funding to provide support to Michigan’s small businesses and nonprofits that are reopening and have experienced a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The funding was distributed across 15 local or nonprofit economic development organizations covering all 83 counties in the state for grants up to $20,000 to support certain small businesses and nonprofits that have realized a significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To see the full list of businesses that were awarded Restart grants as of September 10, 2020, visit here.