$8 million headed to Flint area to support small businesses, nonprofits reopening efforts

Applications for grants up to $20,000 are now open for local small businesses and nonprofits seeking assistance to reopen.

The grants, made possible through the Michigan Small Business Restart Program, are part of a bigger plan to reopen, and keep open, small businesses across the state. With that effort in mind, $100 million have been allocated in total, with just over $8 million received by Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce to be distributed to qualifying organizations in Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron, and Tuscola counties.

Eligible organizations will be able to apply for the grants that can cover anything from working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses. The promise is that at least 30% of the available funds be awarded to women-, minority-, or veteran-owned businesses.

“As Michigan works through its restart plans, many of our small businesses are still struggling to cope with the economic fallout,” said Flint & Genesee Chamber CEO Tim Herman. “This is a tremendous opportunity to provide some additional relief for the small businesses and nonprofits that need it.”

Any business or nonprofit that has been affected by COVID-19 in need of working capital to support eligible expenses can apply. Businesses must have fewer than 50 employees and be able to show an income loss as result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses who have received a grant through the Michigan Strategic Fund’s Michigan Small Business Relief Program are not eligible, however, support through other COVID-19 relief programs, including the Michigan Small Business Relief Program loans, do not affect eligibility.

The selection process will be managed locally by a review committee made up of business and community leaders.

Applications must be submitted through the MEDC’s online portal by Aug. 5.

For more information, go to the MEDC’s webpage on the program.

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Read more articles by Ashley Schafer.