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Posted on: March 20, 2020

Small Business Assistance Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Mayor Andy Schor is committed to helping provide assistance to Lansing’s small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Andy Schor has been in contact with small business owners, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin who has been a part of the negotiations with Congressional leadership and the White House to provide support to businesses in need, and other partners at the state and local level.  

“We need to keep our residents safe, and we want to help our small businesses survive the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Andy Schor. The City of Lansing is working to provide resources to assist our small businesses, and we are working with our state and federal partners to deliver the resources that are available at those levels of government to our residents. I encourage those who are able to help support our local businesses, to do so by ordering takeout or delivery, buying gift cards to use at a later date, and shopping small online.”  

$1 billion in small business loans and subsidies was made available in the recently enacted Congressional appropriation. Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced yesterday the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved her request for a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration, opening the opportunity to small businesses to access low-interest loans from the SBA.      

The application for disaster loan assistance is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. For businesses looking for more information on how to apply for an SBA EIDL loan or whether it is something they should consider, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19.  

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center stands ready to support businesses with questions about assistance available to small business through existing state programs by calling 888-522-0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Visit their website https://sbdcmichigan.org/small-business-covid19/ for additional information.   

The City of Lansing is working with the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to help shape a program to allocate emergency relief funding that is available for small businesses, as announced by Governor Gretchen Whitmer yesterday. Funds will be allocated proportionately for each region through a regional economic development organization and will include grants of up to $10,000 for small businesses with less than 50 employees, as well as low interest loans for businesses with under 100 employees. LEAP intends to respond as the program administrator on behalf of all small businesses and local partners throughout Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties. Though there will be an application process, the sole purpose of this program is to get relief funds into the hands of business owners rapidly. 

LEAP is also collecting feedback (bit.ly/2UmVbmG) from any small and midsized businesses in the tri-county area to identify the areas of most critical need, to help guide LEAP and other agencies in creating effective assistance to the local business community. 

Mandated temporary closures of certain small businesses has been ordered by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Specific questions regarding Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order should be directed to her Constituent Relations team at 517-335-7858  

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