Grants aimed at helping small businesses

“Macomb County is committed to ensuring our small businesses survive this crisis,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “These local companies and organizations make Macomb a great place to call home and we will do everything we can to help them get through the COVID-19 situation.”

“Local and small businesses across Macomb County have already felt the impact of this COVID-19 crisis — whether this means shutting their doors or laying off employees,” said Vicky Rad, director, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development. “Our goal with this effort is to make sure they have the funding necessary to get through this period of uncertainty so they can remain open or reopen in the future and provide services and employment opportunities for our community.”

Earlier this month, the MEDC announced $20 million in support for small businesses, $10 million of which would go to economic development organizations to distribute as grants to their communities.

MCPED received $800,000 from that allocation, with an additional cash match of up to $100,000 from First State Bank and $30,000 from the county.

“This COVID-19 crisis is going to impact all of us,” said Gene Lovell, president and CEO, First State Bank. “Working together, we will get through it. Our small, local businesses, through no fault of their own, are struggling now. First State Bank recognizes that for our communities to thrive we need a strong local economy. We depend upon our local businesses, and right now, they are depending on us. We are here to help.”

MCPED expects to open the grant application process in early April at www.MacombBusiness.com.

Small businesses can apply for funds if they meet the following criteria:

• The company is in an industry outlined in Executive Order 2020-9, or any subsequent Executive Order of similar intent (“EO”), or demonstrates it is otherwise affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, that meets one or more of the following: provides support to impacted employees, is located in a downtown district or high impact corridor or has 50 employees or less, or is a company that provides services to companies outlined in the EO and requires additional employees to support companies or employees impacted by EO;

• The company has 50 employees or less;

• The company needs working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business;

• The company can demonstrate an income loss as a result of Executive Order 2020-9.

A panel, which would include representatives from the Macomb Intermediate School District, Macomb Community College, the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and First State Bank, will review applications and help award the funds.

Businesses will receive between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on need and priority. 

MCPED anticipates the funding will provide direct relief to 90 to 150 businesses in Macomb County.

More information will be available at www.MacombBusiness.com in the next week.

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