$100,000 granted for the safe reopening of black businesses in north Flint

FLINT, Michigan—$100,000 from the Ruth Mott Foundation will go towards the economic relief of black businesses, specifically in north Flint. The deadline to apply is June 7, 2020. 

The $100,000 will be distributed through the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce's Restart Flint & Genesee Grant Program, a special recovery program for small businesses in Genesee County significantly impacted by Gov. Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive orders. The Ruth Mott Foundation funds are for grants of up to $5,000 for Black-owned north Flint businesses that meet eligibility criteria.

Just last month, $262,500 was granted to the program by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The program was first formed out of a partnership with the Consumers Energy Foundation that allocated $200,000 to help businesses county-wide. The additional $262, 500 from the C.S. Mott Foundation will focus on helping to rehabilitate black small businesses in Flint. Businesses will be awarded up to $5,000.
Related story: $262,500 granted to help black businesses reopen in Flint

Eligibility criteria include:

  • Must be locally owned, no national franchises or chains.
  • One's Business must be in good standing as of the date of submission.
  • One's Business must be under Black ownership.
  • Priority is given to industries hit hardest by the executive orders to close.
  • Must have 50 employees or fewer.
  • Must demonstrate economic hardship and provide a narrative on challenges faced, proposed uses of funds, and how the business is critical to developing a sense of place for residents.

“Small businesses are the building blocks of our neighborhoods and now they’re facing a crisis that is unprecedented in our lifetime. This hardship is particularly felt in north Flint among businesses in the Black community, which has been disproportionately affected by coronavirus,” said Raquel Thueme, president of the Ruth Mott Foundation and member of the Greater Flint Coronavirus Taskforce on Racial Inequities. “These funds will provide urgent relief to help them begin to safely reopen.”

Those with businesses hit hardest by the pandemic like barbershops/salons, bars & restaurants, retail, construction & landscaping, childcare, tattoo parlors, and senior facilities are encouraged to apply. Awarded funds will towards safe reopening, much in the same vein of the previous Charles Stewart Mott grant requirements. 

The application for the Restart Flint and Genesee Grant program visit  flintandgenesee.org.

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Read more articles by Xandr Brown.