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More State Funded Small Business Survival Grants on the Way, $3 Million Available from LEAP for the Lansing Region

Grants to Benefit Businesses Directly Impacted by December 2020 State Mask Mandate

LANSING, Mich. (Jan. 14, 2021) — More state funded grants are on the way for small businesses that continue to be battered by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) has approved a Small Business Survival Grants program, administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in partnership with regional economic development organizations around the state. The survival grant program will specifically assist small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the state Health Department December 2020 Gatherings and Mask Order. The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) will receive $3 million to provide 194 $15,000 working capital grants to eligible small businesses and nonprofits across Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties.

“It is crucial to fill the gap of these next months with financial assistance to help get our small businesses to the spring and summer when the economic and virus situation is likely to be much improved — especially those in the hospitality and entertainment industries,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP. “We continue to be grateful to receive state funds and thank the state legislature, Gov. Whitmer and the MEDC for once again entrusting LEAP with this complex and critical task on behalf of the Lansing region.”

In addition to statewide criteria, the Lansing region grant program will prioritize grants to small businesses and nonprofits such as bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, gyms and other entertainment and recreational facilities, which have been especially impacted by the Dec. 2020 Gatherings and Mask Order.

Julie Pingston, Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau (GLCVB) president and CEO, shares why this is particularly important right now, “Locally the hospitality and tourism industry supports 11,000 jobs and contributes over $682 million in economic impact. The disruption of the travel and tourism industry since March has been severe, so these funds come at a time when they are desperately needed.”

To minimize bias and equitably distribute funds across Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties based on the geographic distribution of businesses across the region, LEAP has designed a multistage and multientity review process, including conflict of interest removal.

The MEDC has established a statewide application portal located at www.michiganbusiness.org/survival where the application is expected to open at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, and close at 12 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.

LEAP and its team will work as fast as possible to review and issue the grants. The review process will involve 30 individual reviewers, including LEAP staff, Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) partner organizations, the Capital Region Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC), Capital Area Michigan Works! (CAMW!), Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau (GLCVB) and stakeholders from diverse organizations and larger businesses in the community.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, LEAP has distributed more than $7 million in grants and loans to nearly 500 businesses with funds allocated by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and state and federal legislatures.

“At this point, we of course all know these grants will help many, but not nearly all those in need,” added Trezise. “These funds will be a great help in reaching the types of businesses especially impacted right now, many which have not truly been able to restart due to the necessary restrictions. We will work quickly to distribute these funds equitably across the region.”

Lansing region applicants are strongly encouraged to visit LEAP’s website at www.purelansing.com/businessrelief for information about regional eligibility requirements, review criteria, process and the grant timeline.

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