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Small Business Saturday draws 40+ Lehigh Valley participants. Here are their deals. -

Small Business Saturday draws 40+ Lehigh Valley participants. Here are their deals. - lehighvalleylive.comSmall Business Saturday draws 40+ Lehigh Valley participants. Here are their deals. - lehighvalleylive.comPosted: 30 May 2020 05:22 AM PDT More than 40 Lehigh Valley small business owners Saturday will be offering virtual deals on what they say will be one of their biggest shopping sales annually.Small Business Saturday typically is timed for following Black Friday in November. The nationwide effort for the past decade encourages communities to shop local as it kicks off the busiest shopping season of the year.The chamber is moving this year to hold the event twice -- this time with social distancing -- as many businesses struggle to survive financially during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses to close their doors on March 19. Restaurants were then forced to offer menu items by takeout only with curbside pickup or delivery.Lehigh Val…

Bexar County commissioners approve $1.5M more for small business grants - KSAT San Antonio

Bexar County commissioners approve $1.5M more for small business grants - KSAT San Antonio

Bexar County commissioners approve $1.5M more for small business grants - KSAT San Antonio

Posted: 19 May 2020 04:56 PM PDT

Additional $5M meant for loans could also be redirected to grants

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Commissioners Court approved another $1.5 million on Tuesday to be used for small business grants after previously approved $5.25 million loan and grant programs were tapped dry.

The new round of grants will use money from the federal CARES Act to provide up to $10,000 grants to businesses with five or fewer employees. An additional $5 million in federal money the county originally planned to use for loans could also end up redirected for grants, although county staff still need to present a plan for it.

"If we talk about up to $10,000 per small business, that's 150 small businesses that we can help right away," said Precinct 2 Commissioner Justin Rodriguez.

As with the original $5 million loan and $250,000 grant programs commissioners approved in March, the new grants will be administered by the not-for-profit lender LiftFund.

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The original round of funding, which came from county coffers, has already been awarded through 261 loans and 52 grants. LiftFund used almost $165,000 in additional funding sources to help fund approved loans that were already too far along in the process to cancel.

The grant money went quickly, said LiftFund CEO and President Janie Barrera.

"Within three days, we were oversubscribed," Barrera said. "The $250,000 became closer to almost $1 million in requests."

There's now a much larger slice of funding pie available and more could be coming.

The county had also planned to commit another $5 million in CARES Act money for loans, but officials decided they might not be able to use the federal funds in that capacity. While grant money would be distributed out to the community, the county would still have accountability over the loans.

"If you think about a loan, eventually it's going to get paid back. And these dollars were really intended to go and help the businesses in need today," said David Marquez, executive director of the Bexar County Economic Development Department.

The $5 million might instead end up funneled into grant programs as well, whether through LiftFund or other organizations. Rodriguez requested Marquez bring back a recommendation to the commissioners court on how to use the money.

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Commissioners also requested that the new round of funding be more equitable across the county. Figures provided by LiftFund showed 85 loans awarded to Precinct 3 businesses compared to the 33 loans in Precinct 1 in the first round of loans and grants.

"We need to have balance in the precinct, because every precinct is paying into it but not getting equal numbers," said Commissioner Tommy Calvert, whose Precinct 4 received 63 loans.

FIRST ROUND OF LOANS (provided by LiftFund)

  • Precinct 1 33 loans (13%); $650,506
  • Precinct 2 80 loans (31%); $1,526,200
  • Precinct 3 85 loans (32%); $1,773,100
  • Precinct 4 63 loans (24%); $1,215,000
  • TOTAL: 261 loans; $5,164,806

About half of the loan recipients were small businesses in the retail, service, and food and accommodation services, according to LiftFund. Barrera did not have a breakdown available for the 52 grants that were awarded.

Barrera expects the new round of grants will not open up until June, saying the county will need to decide on the parameters for the grants. Additionally, businesses will have more time to prepare.

"It's not going to be a first come, first served. It will be based on whatever the county decides in terms of how they would like to distribute those funds," Barrera said.


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Meridian Township approves small business relief grant program - WILX-TV

Posted: 20 May 2020 08:50 AM PDT

Meridian Township, MI On Tuesday, May 19, the Township Board approved the Meridian Economic Development Corporation's (EDC) Small Business Relief Grant Program to assist local small businesses affected by COVID-19.

"Meridian Township is a community of people who care about and help each other in times of need. The Township Board hopes that these grant funds will help keep small businesses employing people and serving our residents, as they face the economic challenges created by the current public health crisis," said Ron Styka, Meridian Township Supervisor. "It's the small businesses of Meridian that help make it the walkable prime community that our residents enjoy and helped Meridian earn recognition as the number one place to live in Michigan."

The Meridian EDC and Township Board have allocated $180,000 for 45 grants of $4,000 each. The grant program funding comes exclusively from two sources, which includes $130,000 from the Meridian Redevelopment Fund and $50,000 from the Meridian EDC's own funding, which is generated in part from the EDC's service as a bond fiduciary. No Township General Fund monies are being used to support this program.

"The residents and businesspeople of Meridian Township love being part of this community. Our Township Board has taken their input and enacted policies aimed at placemaking and at creating a business-friendly environment. We've seen fantastic new businesses and business expansions over the past few years," said Jade Sims, Meridian EDC Chair. "Our EDC wants to protect the welcoming environment our business community fosters with the hopes of building upon past gains when this crisis subsides. We believe this assistance can do that. What we don't want is to erase what we've built and have to start from scratch."

The application period of the grant program begins May 20, 2020 and ends at 5 p.m. on May 23, 2020. Grants are anticipated to be awarded on May 29, 2020, with funds distributed by June 2, 2020. A six-person review committee will be responsible for grant application review and scoring. The committee will then recommend the top 45 grant finalists for the Meridian EDC's final approval.

Meridian Township small businesses that were denied a grant from the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, as administered by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), can use the same application previously submitted for the LEAP grant program to apply to the Meridian EDC's Small Business Relief Grant Program. Businesses will still need to meet the eligibility requirements of the Meridian EDC grant program, which differ from the LEAP grant program.

More information about the Small Business Relief Grant Program including business eligibility, frequently asked questions and application are available on the township website.

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