LANSING – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Women Forward announced last week they have created a $1.5 million fund to help certain small businesses recover from COVID-19.
The Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund will provide recovery grants of $1,000-$5,000 and microloans of $5,000-$10,000 that can be used to support small businesses management of expenses through the recovery phase, such as rent, payroll and inventory.
Applicants will be evaluated on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. Eligible candidates will be prioritized based on demonstrated need, including, but not limited to:
- Being located in a disadvantaged area within a U.S. Small Business Administration designated HubZone or Opportunity Zone;
- Demonstrating status as a low- to moderate-income borrower;
- And qualifying as a diverse business that can demonstrate ownership by underrepresented groups including, but not limited to, veterans, minorities and low-income men and women.
Small businesses interested in applying for support through the Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund can do so now by visiting miwf.org/mwf-entrepreneur-resilience-fund.
“We provide micro lending throughout state,” said Carolyn Cassin, President and CEO of the Michigan Women Forward. “We discovered the pandemic has been hardest for women, in particular minority women, to get access to capital. It has been difficult for them to go to traditional lenders. This matched our priority. It’s a way for women to get their businesses back up and running again.”
The $1.5 million fund includes support of $500,000 from MEDC and $500,000 from Michigan Women Forward’s SBA microlending funds, along with partners including Consumers Energy Foundation, the New Economy Initiative, General Motors Corporation, Fifth Third Bank and Comerica Bank. Michigan Women Forward is also working with other potential funding partners to provide additional opportunities for grants and loans through the Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund.
“As Michigan begins to focus on economic recovery efforts across the state, it is critical that we make sure support and relief are accessible for all entrepreneurs and small businesses in need,” said LeTasha Peebles, grant manager for the MEDC. “We’re grateful for the partnership of Michigan Women Forward in supporting this fund, which will play a key role in ensuring every member of our state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has the tools and support they need to recover from this crisis.”
Other resources for businesses across Michigan to assist them in recovering from economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19. This site includes resources offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Pure Michigan Business Connect procurement platform, support services offered through the Small Business Development Center and more. The MEDC has also developed a FAQ for Michigan businesses and communities at michiganbusiness.org/covid19-faq.