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$4.35 million awarded to 74 businesses in first round of Michigan Small Business Relief Program loans

LANSING — Working in partnership with nine local economic development organizations, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has awarded $4.35 million to 74 small businesses in 40 counties across Michigan in the first round of low-interest loans awarded through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, MEDC announced today. Today’s support builds on $10 million in grants awarded to more than 2,700 businesses through the program last month.

“This is good news for small business owners everywhere as we continue to safely re-engage sectors of our economy,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The COVID-19 pandemic hit our small business owners hard, and we’re working around the clock to ensure they have the support they need moving forward. That means ensuring they can pay their employees and provide them with the PPE they need to keep themselves, their families, and the heroes on the front lines safe. I will continue to work with partners at the state and federal level to ensure our small business owners can get back on their feet.”

The Michigan Small Business Relief Program was authorized by the Michigan Strategic Fund to provide relief for small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Loans through the program are intended to support small businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce and may be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business. The full list of businesses receiving loans so far through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program is available at michiganbusiness.org/msbrp.

“During the past six-plus years, my partners and I have invested significant time and capital in starting and growing our small business in the rural Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where resources are always limited. MEDC has been a tremendous partner to us along the way, helping ProNav Marine access many essential business services otherwise not available to us and making it possible to sell and market our products on a global scale. As a young and rapidly growing company, cash flow is always difficult, especially during times such as these. The economic slowdown in our industry due to COVID-19 had a major impact on our sales during our peak sales season,” said Travis White, co-founder and CEO of ProNav Marine in Hancock. “The Michigan Small Business Relief Program provided a lifeline at a time of great need. Without this assistance, we were facing imminent workforce reductions and potentially even the possibility of closing our business. This would have been a great loss for our small community, as our company is driving innovation and technology and creating manufacturing jobs that are vital to Michigan’s economy. Our entire team is grateful for this program and the access to capital it has provided during this challenging time.”

Local EDO partners have referred eligible loan applicants to MEDC, where they are reviewed by a loan review committee including the Chief Business Development Officer, Senior Vice President of Growth and Development, and Senior Vice President of Business Development Projects. All loans made through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program are also approved through Michigan Strategic Fund delegated authority. Additional loans covering remaining regions in the state are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

“Thank you so much, we cannot tell you how much this is going to help our employees. our business our customers and our community. Without these lifelines, there is no question this business would have failed,” said Danny and Kim Brown, owners of Skatemore, Inc. (dba) Rollhaven Skating Centers in Flint. “We have been serving the Flint, Grand Blanc and Burton community for over 65 years. Now we can serve it for many years to come.”

“The Michigan Small Business Relief Program loans are intended to provide critical capital to support the health and sustainability of the state’s small businesses, communities and workforce,” said MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton. “By collaborating with our local economic development partners, we are able to deliver vital financial resources to small businesses all across Michigan as they work to recover from the loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 virus.”

In addition to the $10 million in loan funds, the Michigan Strategic Fund also approved $10 million in

Michigan Small Business Relief Program grants which were administered by 15 local and nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs) around Michigan. The EDOs were selected through a competitive process based on capacity to administer the program and ensure coverage to small businesses in all 83 counties in Michigan. To see the full list of businesses that received MSBRP grants, visit https://www.michiganbusiness.org/msbrp/.

To learn more about MEDC’s COVID-19 response programs and the impact they are having on economic recovery efforts, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19response. Other resources for economic reopening efforts as well as businesses across Michigan struggling with economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19. The MEDC has also developed a FAQ for Michigan businesses and communities at michiganbusiness.org/covid19-faq.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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