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Published 4/4/2020
12:52am

Relief Grants Awarded To Twenty-Three Shiawassee County Small Businesses

Shiawassee County Allotted $93,211; Received Requests for More Than $900,000 in Assistance

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The Michigan Strategic Fund recently authorized the funding of the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, to provide up to $10 million in small business grants and $10 million in small business loans. Local businesses submitted grant requests totaling $903,679.00.

Shiawassee County was allotted $93,211.00 in grant monies and was limited to funding 10.3% of the requests. Most recipients received a portion of their individual request.

Twenty-three businesses in eight communities will share the $93,211 grant pool. A Shiawassee County team, consisting of staff members of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership (SEDP) and the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce (SRCC), reviewed nearly 100 grant applications from area businesses.

The selection committee took several factors into consideration: diversity of the business; geographical location and the significance of the business to that specific area; the impact the grant dollars would have on helping the business; how the grant dollars will be used; completeness of the applications and if there were other financial tools that the business could access. The list of awardees is not available at this time, as the recipients must complete legal paperwork as a final step with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

As a result, a local team is continuing to collaborate and advocate with local, state and national partners on programs to provide relief for small businesses. This includes evaluating the details of the federal stimulus package to determine how it will influence our efforts to provide economic relief in our region.

As we continue taking critical steps to flatten the COVID-19 curve, we recognize that our region’s small businesses are among those most severely impacted by these protective measures. Businesses are encouraged to consider additional resources below as options for financial support during this time:

· SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: These loans will provide vital capital for businesses facing temporary economic hardships as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Small businesses apply for this EIDL directly with the SBA at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

· Federal Stimulus Support: Last week, Congress passed the CARES Act that, among other things, allocated $350 billion through the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses keep workers employed during the COVID-19 outbreak. These loans can be up to 2.5 times the borrower’s average monthly payroll costs (not to exceed $10 million) and can be used for expenses like payroll costs, rent on a leasing agreement and payments on utilities. To learn whether your business qualifies for this loan and to find more information about how it could help your business, read the U.S Chamber’s Small Business Guide and Checklist.

· MEDC’s Capital Access Program: As small and medium-size businesses across the state are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, existing programs through MEDC’s Capital Access Program provide opportunities for financing that may not otherwise be available. Any business that has been affected by COVID-19 is eligible to receive support through the Collateral Support and Loan Participation programs. Additional information about the eligibility requirements for these programs, as well as the applications for each program, can be found here. There are many lenders across Michigan that already participate in the MEDC Capital Access program. Talk with your lender about whether this is an option that might be right for you.

Additional funding opportunities for local businesses will be announced as they become available. Persons should connect with the SEDP and SRCC on social media for the most up-to-date announcements. COVID19 related federal and state resources for businesses of all sizes may be found here.

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Update 4/5/2020

Benteler Automotive Corporation in West Michigan will lay off 1,000 employees.  The company notified the state of the temporary layoffs due to global impacts on the supply chain.

Cease and desist letters were sent to three non-essential Upper Peninsula businesses for remaining open when only essential businesses should be open.  Auto Credit Center, Grow Masters Indoor & Outdoor Gardening Supplies and Holy Smokes Tobacco Shop, all in Menominee County, were hand-delivered the letters by Michigan State Police.

Michigan State University is launching virtual courses aimed at anyone interested in gardening.  The Cabin Fever Conversations series features a different guest speaker each week.

Meijer is now conducting health-screenings of employees before each shift.  The West Michigan-based retailer joins other companies taking extra steps to keep employees and customers safe.

The Treasury Department has announced that Social Security recipients will automatically receive the direct payment being made to Americans as part of the CARES Act, Congressman John Moolenaar said, noting that he supported the initiative. Social Security recipients who normally do not file a tax return, do not need to file one to receive the payment.

Lansing Police are asking for help locating a missing teen.  Demasio Nino Perez is 14 years old, 6'1 and 155 pounds, police say, and was reported as a runaway/missing person last seen in the 500 block of Riley Street in Lansing.  He was wearing black and grey sweatpants and a grey t-shirt.  Call 517-483-4600 with information.

Saginaw parks and playgrounds have closed to vehicle access effective immediately.  Anyone wishing to utilize a city park will have to enter on foot until further notice.

The MHSAA has cancelled the remainder of the 2019-2020 winter and sports seasons.  This marks the first year since 1942-1943 that finals will not be played.  World War II forced the cancellation of many final sporting events.

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