Business Accelerator Fund (BAF) Loan Expansion in Response to COVID-19

The Business Accelerator Fund (BAF) is available to participating business accelerators in Michigan’s statewide SmartZone network.  These funds are used toward the delivery of specialized services that are not otherwise available from these business accelerators, to assist advanced technology companies regardless of the company’s geography.  

By expanding the Business Accelerator Fund, the state is working to ensure entrepreneurs and startups with the capabilities to offer support during the COVID-19 outbreak have the means to do so, while also providing the ecosystem greater economic support in response to the crisis. Altogether, the changes to the BAF program will:

  • Increase the amount of discretionary funds available to business accelerators to more immediately provide services to startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses in need;

  • Expand the permissible use of BAF to include utilities, rent or other services not typically supported through the BAF program;

  • Allow certain non-tech businesses to access services through BAF to support the manufacture or distribution of critical medical supplies and personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns and sanitizer; and

  • Expand company size eligibility requirements and allowable use of funds for tech companies developing innovations that could support COVID-19 response efforts, such as diagnostics, therapeutics, or processes to support the health care system’s response to the virus.

Learn more about the Business Accelerator Fund (BAF) expansion here.

Michigan Agricultural Safety Grant Program 

On July 1, 2020 Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bill 690 allocating $10 million in grant funding for eligible agricultural processors and $5 million in grant funding for eligible farms. The Agricultural Safety Grant Program supports the implementation of COVID-19 monitoring and mitigation strategies to protect agricultural employees and the state’s overall food production industry.
 

Application Information

Applications will be available beginning July 15, 2020 and will be processed by East Lansing-based GreenStone Farm Credit Services, one of America’s largest rural lenders, including 31 branches in Michigan. GreenStone will host the application portal, complete an initial screening of all applications and supporting documentation and recommend applications to the MEDC for final approval and disbursements of the grants awarded. Grants will be awarded to eligible applicants on a first-come, first served basis. 

Agricultural processors and farms may use the grants for COVID-19 testing costs, facility or farm needs to protect against the spread of COVID-19, personal protection equipment, and establishing or conducting COVID-19 screening procedures.

In order to be eligible for funding under the program agricultural processors and farms must meet the criteria listed below. Eligible Applicant means a farm or agricultural processor located in Michigan that meets all the following requirements:

  • Employs at least 10 employees in Michigan

  • Applies for either a grant as an agricultural processor or a farm (applicants cannot apply as both)

  • Provides a 2019 1040, Schedule F (2018 Schedule F may be submitted if 2019 is unavailable) or state license, tax, or other relevant information demonstrating qualification as a farm or processor

  • Provides internal payroll documentation supporting the number of employees for which grant funds are being requested

  • Certifies funds will only be used for Eligible Expenses

  • Provides a Certificate of Good Standing, as applicable

  • Verifies that the business is current on State, Local and Real Estate Taxes, or is otherwise contesting them in good faith.

    Certifies compliance with, and agrees, to all other required MSF terms and conditions

  • Agrees to register for payment by EFT at the State of Michigan State Integrated Governmental Management Applications (SIGMA) Vendor Self-Service (VSS) website and agrees to provide its registration number

Learn more and apply for the Agricultural Safety Grant on the MEDC site.

Michigan Small Business Restart Grant 
In an effort to continue to support small businesses, the Michigan Small Business Restart Program will provide funding to local economic development organizations (EDOs) who will provide grants to eligible small businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and need working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses.

Grant Eligibility

Businesses and nonprofits with 50 or fewer employees, worldwide, located in Michigan are eligible to apply. Businesses must also demonstrate the following:
 

  • Part of an industry or nonprofit that can demonstrate it has been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency

  • Needs working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses

  • Demonstrates an income loss as result of the COVID-19 emergency as determined by the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF).

Additionally, at least 30 percent of the funds awarded under this program will be provided to women-owned, minority-owned or veteran-owned eligible businesses. The MEDC anticipates that more than 5,000 businesses across the state will benefit from this program

Application Process

There will be a single, statewide application for the Michigan Small Business Restart Program through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) that will open on July 15, 2020 and run through August 5, 2020. Applicants can apply for up to $20,000 in grant funds. Every business must apply through this portal, regardless of prior grant applications submitted.

Click here to visit the MEDC site for more information and application instructions. 

Information for Manufacturers Looking to Produce PPE/Medical Supplies amid COVID-19 health crisis

If you're a manufacturer interested in producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or other medical supplies and equipment during the COVID-19 health crisis, we recommend reviewing this comprehensive guide to product specifications for urgently needed items.

 

If you review the COVID-19 Product Specification guide and determine you are able to manufacture needed PPE/Medical Equipment during this time, contact The Right Place, Inc. business development team at PPEequip@rightplace.org for assistance with getting started.

U.S. Small Business Administration: Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has designated COVID-19 as a qualifying event for the provision of Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for businesses and private non-profits in declared zones.

What is EIDL?

The EIDL is a low-interest, fixed-rate loan that can provide up to $2 million in assistance for a small business. SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDLs) funds come directly from the U.S. Treasury. Applicants do not go through a bank to apply, and instead, apply directly to SBA’s Disaster Assistance Program.

Actual loan amounts are based on the amount of economic injury. These loans provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing because of COVID-19. The EIDL helps meet the necessary financial obligations that your business or private non-profit organization could have met had the disaster not occurred. EIDLs do not replace lost sales or revenue.

Eligible Businesses: The EIDL provides up to $2 million of financial assistance to small businesses or private, non-profit organizations that suffer substantial economic injury as a direct result of the declared disaster. This includes:

  • Businesses directly affected by the disaster

  • Businesses that offer services directly related to the businesses in the declaration

  • Other businesses indirectly related to the industry that are likely to be harmed by losses in their community (Example: Manufacturer of widgets may be eligible as well as the wholesaler and retailer of the product.)

To find more information and apply, visit sbdcmichigan.org/disaster-loan-help

U.S. Small Business Administration: Michigan Paycheck Protection Program

The Michigan Paycheck Protection Program (MiPPP) provides small businesses in Michigan COVID-19 relief, giving funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll).

Eligible Businesses: Michigan small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veteran organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors— affected by COVID-19 are eligible. Michigan businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.

Application Window: Eligible businesses are able to apply for MiPPP as of April 3, 2020. Businesses are encouraged to apply as quickly as they can because there is a funding cap.

How to Apply: Paycheck Protection Program loans are only available through your local SBA certified bank or credit union. Start by calling your existing bank or credit union, or take a look at our list of financial institutions in Michigan already approved by the SBA. A copy of the application form can be found here, so you can get a head start on the process.

To find more information and apply, visit paycheckprotectionprogrammichigan.com

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness

The Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application. Guidelines for PPP loan forgiveness are to be released soon. 

View the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application here. 

CARES Act Provisions Most Relevant for International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Members

The document below outlines provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that are most relevant to ​International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) members. 

View the final summary of provisions in the CARES Package Most Relevant to ICSC members

CARES Act Provisions for Small Businesses

The main features for small businesses are emergency grants and a forgivable loan program for companies with 500 or fewer employees. There are also changes to rules for expenses and deductions meant to make it easier for companies to keep employees on the payroll and stay open in the near-term. 

 

Emergency grants: The bill provides $10 billion for grants of up to $10,000 to provide emergency funds for small businesses to cover immediate operating costs.

Forgivable loans: There is $350 billion allocated for the Small Business Administration to provide loans of up to $10 million per business. Any portion of that loan used to maintain payroll, keep workers on the books or pay for rent, mortgage and existing debt could be forgiven, provided workers stay employed through the end of June.

 

Relief for existing loans: There is $17 billion to cover six months of payments for small businesses already using SBA loans.

CARES Act Provisions for Big Businesses

The bill sets aside roughly $500 billion in loans and other money for big corporations. These companies will have to pay the government back and will be subject to public disclosures and other requirements.

Airlines: About $58 billion is allocated to help airlines stay open. One portion of that money is set aside to help cover employee wages, salaries and benefits divided up as up to $25 billion for passenger air carriers, up to $4 billion for cargo air carriers, and up to $3 billion for airline contractors.

Stock buyback ban: Any company receiving a loan under the program is barred from making stock buybacks for the term of the loan plus one year.

Reporting requirements: All loans, their terms and any investments or other assistance provided by the government must be publicly disclosed.

Oversight: The bill creates a special inspector general to oversee pandemic recovery. That person, along with a special committee, would provide oversight of all loans and other uses of taxpayer dollars.

All businesses: The bill establishes a fully refundable tax credit for businesses of all size that are closed or distressed to help them keep workers on the payroll. The goal is to get those employees hired back or put on paid furlough to make sure they have jobs to return to. The credit covers to 50 percent of payroll on the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, for each employee.

For employers with more than 100 full-time employees, the credit is for wages paid to employees when they are not providing services because of the coronavirus. Eligible employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees could use the deduction even if they aren't closed.

U.S. Small Business Association 7(a) Lenders in Michigan 

Funds related to the Federal CARES Act will be accessed by small businesses (less than 500 employees) through the US Small Business Association’s (SBA) 7(a) program. The 7(a) program offers loan and is an all-inclusive loan program deployed by lending partners for eligible small businesses within the U.S. States and its territories. The uses of proceeds include: working capital; expansion/renovation; new construction; purchase of land or buildings; purchase of equipment, fixtures; lease-hold improvements; refinancing debt for compelling reasons; seasonal line of credit; inventory; or starting a business.

 

Click the link below to download an Excel list of financial institutions in Michigan that are already approved for the SBA 7(a) program.

View a list of financial institutions in Michigan already approved for the SBA 7(a) program

Consumers Energy Delivering Support for Small Businesses During the Coronavirus Crisis

If the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made it challenging to meet basic businesses expenses such as rent, payroll or utility bills. Small business customers can call 800-805-0490 to get assistance with their energy bills and to learn about additional short-term resources.
 

View a quick reference sheet from Consumers Energy on how they can help and other useful resources.

MIWISH Grants Available for Small Employers

The MIOSHA Workplace Improvement to Safety and Health (MIWISH) Grant Program awards qualifying employers a dollar-for-dollar match – up to $5,000 – to purchase safety and health-related equipment and equipment-related training.  The goal of the program is to create a safer and healthier work environment and reduce the risk of injury and illness to workers in Michigan. 

More information and the application can be found at michigan.gov/mioshagrants. 

Michigan COVID-19 Safety Grant Program

With employers across the state working to keep their employees, customers and communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Michigan has launched Michigan COVID-19 Safety Grant Program. These grants will provide small businesses matching funds of – up to $10,000 – to decrease the risk of COVID-19 spread through safety and health-related equipment purchased and training in response to COVID-19.

The initial grant application window will be open from Monday, July 27 through Friday, August 7, 2020, with awards given shortly thereafter. Grants received after August 7, 2020 will be held pending a potential second phase, if funds remain available.

To apply, businesses may complete the Michigan COVID-19 Safety Grant application.

PPE Available to Small Businesses at No Cost 

As employers reopen across Kent County, personal protective equipment (PPE) will be a critical component in helping to protect employees, visitors, clients and customers from the spread of COVID-19. Our program will provide PPE to qualifying small businesses and other employers, at no cost, to assist in reopening their operations. Available PPE includes eye and face protection, gloves, hand sanitizer and thermometers. The Board of Commissioners has allocated $2 million of the County’s CARES Act funding to launch this program.

To qualify, employers must be located in Kent County and must employ 100 people or fewer.

Qualifying employers may begin placing PPE requests on Tuesday, June 2. All qualifying requests received by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, June 4 will be entered into a random selection process. The first-round lottery selection will take place on Friday, June 5, and we will begin filling requests on that date.

Employers can place requests online starting today, or they may call our fulfillment company partner at (616) 245-3636 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning tomorrow, June 2. If the line is busy, the caller may leave a message with their contact information, and a representative will return the call to take the request. Calls are taken either in English or Spanish.

Begin the request form here. 

Kent County Small Business Recovery Program

The COVID-19 crisis is devastating the fabric of our local business community. Kent County is built on the backbone of entrepreneurship and small business, and the Kent County Small Business Recovery Program is aimed at delivering short–term financial support to small businesses with the goal of supporting a strong economic recovery.  
 

This fund is focused on using Coronavirus Relief Funds provided under the CARES Act to support for-profit businesses with 0-25 full-time equivalent employees located in Kent County. 
 

This fund helps businesses that have not been able to access, or have been declined for local, state, or federal relief funds, or need additional support to weather this crisis. We are focused on businesses that may be dealing with additional barriers including but not limited to language, general business knowledge, and from underserved communities. Consistent with the limitations of the CARES Act, these businesses also must have been directly impacted and experienced losses due to business interruption due to COVID-19.  All distributions of funds are subject to the requirements of the CARES Act and Treasury Department guidance on the use of Coronavirus Relief Funds.

Eligibility:

  • Must be a private, for-profit business located and registered in Kent County with 25 employees (FTEs) or fewer

  • Must have been directly impacted and experienced losses due to business interruption due to COVID-19.

  • Must have a business start date prior to 2/15/2020  

  • The first round of applications will be for those that have not previously received COVID-19 related aid

Learn more and apply on the Grand Rapids Chamber website. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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