The Right Place, Inc., in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and regional partners, announced that The Right Place will receive a $1 million grant from the MEDC to support small businesses that have realized a significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
In this unprecedented time of economic and business stress, we want to do everything we can for West Michigan businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. We are collaborating with our local and regional partners in this effort to quickly and efficiently provide much needed financial support to small businesses.
The Michigan Small Business Relief Program is designed to provide grants up to $10,000 to local small businesses with less than 50 employees. Grants 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 Right Place and its regional partners intend to use the grant funds to support qualifying small businesses within 11 of the 13 counties of West Michigan’s Prosperity Region #4. “Qualified Small Businesses” will be limited to the statutes identified in both this grant program and Executive Order 2020-9.
Counties covered by this grant in Region #4 include: Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, and Osceola. A table of fund award allocations by county can be found at this link. Ottawa and Allegan counties are not covered by this grant, and affected businesses in those counties are encouraged to apply for funds through a separate grant administered by local economic organization, Lakeshore Advantage.
Each county will have the opportunity to assemble a local county review committee for relief applications. The size of the committees will vary and may be composed of both public and private economic development partners. Collaborative partners may include but are not limited to local economic development organizations, municipalities, counties, Downtown Development Authorities, chambers of commerce, minority associations and chambers, local banks and finance professionals, and community foundations.
Applications from affected businesses will be accepted, reviewed, and approved by these local county review committees. As applications are approved locally, funds will be distributed by The Right Place directly to the applicant company.
“There are over 76,000 small businesses in these 11 counties and $1 million in funds,” said Klohs. “We anticipate demand will far exceed availability of funding, which will necessitate difficult decisions throughout the grant review process.”
The Right Place anticipates funds to be made available on or before April 12th and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Each county will be accepting, reviewing, and approving applications through their local committees. Please submit applications before close of business on April 6. Local committee contacts are as follows:
Ionia: Travis Alden | The Right Place, Inc. | firstname.lastname@example.org |231-233-4349
Montcalm: Kathy Jo VanderLaan | The Right Place, Inc. | vanderLaank@rightplace.org | 616-498-0374
Newaygo: Julie Burrell | The Right Place, Inc.| email@example.com | 231-335-1985
Lake: Jodi Nichols | The Right Place, Inc.| firstname.lastname@example.org | 231-742-3328
Oceana: Jodi Nichols – The Right Place, Inc. | email@example.com | 231-742-3328
Kent: Brent Case |The Right Place, Inc. | firstname.lastname@example.org | 616-301-6246
Barry: Jennifer Heinzman | Barry County Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Alliance | email@example.com | 269-945-2454
Mason: Brandy Miller | Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce | firstname.lastname@example.org | (231) 845-0324
Mecosta: Jim Sandy | Mecosta County Development Corporation | email@example.com | 231-250-9226
Muskegon: Morgan Carroll | Muskegon Area First | firstname.lastname@example.org | 231-286-9497
Osceola: Dan Massy | Osceola County Community & Economic Development Dept. | email@example.com | (231) 832-7397