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Nearly 2,000 small businesses apply for $10,000 grants to help through coronavirus downturn - Lansing State Journal

Nearly 2,000 small businesses apply for $10,000 grants to help through coronavirus downturn - Lansing State Journal


Nearly 2,000 small businesses apply for $10,000 grants to help through coronavirus downturn - Lansing State Journal

Posted: 01 Apr 2020 06:23 AM PDT

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LANSING – Nearly 2,000 small businesses in Greater Lansing applied for relief grants through a state program being administered by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, officials said.

The 1,875 small businesses will vie for 60 grants of $10,000 each.

"It's definitely a measure of the pain that's out there," said Bob Trezise, LEAP's president and CEO.

The grants come as thousands of businesses struggle to find footing during the coronavirus outbreak.

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The application period opened Thursday, with nearly 100 businesses applying in the first hour. The period ended at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

The numbers amount to more than 30 applicants per available grant, meaning only 3% of applicants will be successful.

Trezise acknowledged the disparity between the number of available grants and the needs of the businesses community.

"There may be disappointment," he said.

However, Trezise expressed confidence in the selection committee which is comprised of 30 reviewers from the public and private sector.

When announcing the program last month, Trezise said the selection committee would include representatives from LEAP, Capital Area Michigan Works and the Small Business Development Center. LEAP is the region's economic development agency, but has shifted toward assisting small businesses since the coronavirus outbreak. LEAP's membership includes regional business and government leaders.

"Everybody's application, that qualifies, will be reviewed," he said. "Everyone is promised a fair, unbiased review."

Trezise said each reviewer will receive around 100 applications to review independently. Reviewers cannot handle applications submitted by businesses with which they have a relationship or connection.

Businesses selected to receive the grants are due to be notified Monday with the grant money expected to be delivered by April 8.

The volume of applications has, so far, not changed those targeted dates, Trezise said.

Trezise said businesses who do not receive grants will receive information regarding a Michigan Economic Development Corp. loan program as well as information regarding loan programs run by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

"Many, many businesses will be able to qualify," for the loan programs, Trezise said. 

LEAP is administering distribution of $600,000 in grants approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund last month as part of a program to aid businesses hit by the economic downturn caused by the new coronavirus.

Michigan remains under a state of emergency with a stay home order in place to stop spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Since last week businesses have been ordered to stop any activities not considered essential during the pandemic.

Contact business reporter Christian Martinez at cmartinez@lsj.com or (517) 267-1342. Follow him on Twitter at @ChristianM_CA.

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Coronavirus: Northwest Florida small businesses can apply for $5,000 grants from new program - Pensacola News Journal

Posted: 01 Apr 2020 04:20 AM PDT

Madison Arnold, Pensacola News Journal Published 6:00 a.m. CT April 1, 2020

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Small businesses throughout the Panhandle have another lifeline after the creation of the Northwest Florida Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program this week.

Businesses with between two and 10 employees will be able to apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to help offset losses related to the coronavirus pandemic. The fund was jump-started with a $250,000 Gulf Power donation through its economic development fund.

The Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of West Florida will administer the program and any assistance needed to complete the application. The organization has also been working to help businesses apply for both a state emergency bridge loan and a federal disaster loan.

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"The impact really I would say is to just try and touch as many businesses and as many different lives that really need it at the moment that realistically you can keep afloat," said John Emsing, business consultant for the SBDC at UWF.

The grant application will be open from April 8 to 15 at sbdc.uwf.edu. Business owners can download the application beginning April 6.

Eligibility requirements will include showing a reduction in sales revenue of 25% or more related to the outbreak, being established by Jan. 1 and maintaining a physical location in eligible counties. Those are Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Jackson, Washington, Calhoun and Bay counties.

"We are grateful to be able to help the small businesses that are often the backbone and economic engine of our communities — and what makes Northwest Florida a uniquely special place to live, shop, eat and raise a family," said Marlene Santos, president of Gulf Power, in a news release.

Emsing said he expects more small business grants to come available in the near future. Business owners should follow the organization's Facebook page to learn about any new programs.

"There's a lot of different loans available, some of which come with forgiveness. But any time you have a grant, it's essentially free money," Emsing said. "I think interest will be high in all these programs because right now, money is tight and people are trying to keep their employees working, trying to pay bills."

Other small business resources

Small business owners can fill out the state's Business Damage Assessment Survey. After filling out the survey, federal, state or local agencies may reach out about available programs.

The city of Pensacola has dedicated a staff member to help with small business recovery. Pensacola business owners who need help, particularly with requirements to receive benefits from the federal government's stimulus package, can call 311.

The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce has a dedicated COVID-19 page on its website, pensacolachamber.com. It has guidance for business, employment, health and community.

The Spring Entrepreneurial Hub has started a weekly Q&A chat to help answer questions of entrepreneurs while dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

Madison Arnold can be reached at marnold@pnj.com and 850-435-8522.

Read or Share this story: https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2020/04/01/coronavirus-northwest-florida-small-businesses-can-apply-5-000-grant/5095891002/

How to apply for Facebook's new small business grant program - Komando

Posted: 02 Apr 2020 02:16 AM PDT

Businesses across the country have been suffering since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. With so many stuck at home, many smaller shops and stores have been forced to close, and several are on the brink of collapse.

But not everyone is without hope. Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and advertising credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. Tap or click here for other ways to make money with Facebook.

That's a lot of money for struggling business owners right now. If you qualify for these perks, you can use the grants to keep your business afloat and use the credits to rope in a few new customers.

Facebook funds

On March 31, Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandburg announced at a press conference that her company would be offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries.

The funds can be used for a variety of business expenses like payroll, rent and utilities. Advertising credits are included as an additional incentive to attract new customers during this economic downturn.

But available slots are limited. The full details of the project have yet to be released, so keep a close eye on the Facebook Business Grants page for further announcements.

Does my small business qualify for a grant? How can I sign up?

Facebook hasn't officially stated the criteria for businesses to qualify, but business size is likely to be a factor. You can use this tool from the government's Small Business Administration to see if your business counts for contracting purposes. If it does, you may be able to qualify.

Facebook's statement was more announcement than release, so there is currently no way for businesses to sign up. But what you can sign up for are email updates on the program. This way you can be first in line when the application process opens.

On the Business Grants page, scroll down to the section labeled Next Steps and click "Sign Up for Updates" to stay ahead of the curve.

With all the fear surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the last thing you should worry about is the fate of your small business. Keep an eye out for updates, which we will publish as more information is released.

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