Hundreds of area small businesses and non-profits awarded $2.34 million in grants

Today, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) announced that 236 small businesses and nonprofits in Flint and Genesee County were awarded grants totaling more than $2.34 million through the Michigan Small Business Restart Program. The grantees were among the more than 11,300 organizations statewide that received grants announced in a press release today from Bob Campbell, Senior Communications Manager of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

1,950 jobs retained for Flint & Genesee employees

In Genesee County, the grants, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000, helped to retain 1,950 jobs at area businesses. The grantees represent a variety of industry sectors, from small retail shops to nonprofits to manufacturing:

  • About 90 percent of the grants were $10,000.
  • Nearly 60 percent of the grantees were either minority-, veteran- or women-owned businesses. Of that, 30 percent were minority-owned establishments.

The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, which administered the program locally, received nearly 1,300 applications for the program.

The program has clearly helped to fill a significant need in Flint & Genesee, according to Tyler Rossmaessler, the Chamber’s director of economic development.

“Judging from the number of heartfelt messages the Flint & Genesee Chamber has received from the grantees who were awarded funding, the impact of the Michigan Small Business Restart Program on our region is clear as a bell,” Rossmaessler said. “For many of these owners, the program truly delivered a lifeline of support.”

The MEDC-funded initiative was launched to provide relief for small businesses and nonprofits that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds may be used as working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses.

Grants were awarded on a competitive basis. To be considered, organizations must first have met the following conditions:

  • A business with 50 or fewer total employees that can demonstrate it had been affected by the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Needed working capital to support eligible expenses.
  • Demonstrated an income loss as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.

Approved in July, the Michigan Small Business Restart Program allocated $100 million of federal CARES Act funding to provide support to Michigan’s small businesses and nonprofits that are reopening and have experienced a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The funding was distributed across 15 local or nonprofit economic development organizations covering all 83 counties in the state for grants up to $20,000 to support certain small businesses and nonprofits that have realized a significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To see the full list of businesses that were awarded Restart grants as of September 10, 2020, visit here.

EVM Staff can be reached at

Author: Tom Travis

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