Grants Keep Businesses Moving Forward

Small-business relief grants have helped companies across the Great Lakes Bay Region keep their doors open through COVID-19.

One of the greatest aids area businesses saw was the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, which provided more than $400,000 in grants to 205 businesses in Arenac, Bay, Midland and Saginaw counties.

“We were pleased to be able to administer this program for the (Michigan Economic Development Corp.) in the Great Lakes Bay Region,” said Saginaw Future President JoAnn Crary. “There continues to be a tremendous need for small-business support here and across the country. The Saginaw chamber and Saginaw Future are working together to provide technical assistance and identify additional resources to help our businesses so that they can survive the pandemic and reopen safely.”

Isabella county received $84,000 from the same grant program through the Middle Michigan Development Corp.

In addition to statewide relief grants, communities and organizations across the region have supported businesses through additional grants.

Rachel Rollin, Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce director of events, said local radio stations operated by Mount Pleasant-based Latitude Media supplied $700 grants for no-cost advertising to 27 locally owned and operated businesses in March, totaling $18,900.

The Midland area also has seen supplementary support. The Midland Business Alliance said local philanthropic organizations have come together to provide another $200,000 to small, local businesses.

“We are extremely grateful to live in a community where organizations and people come together to support one another in challenging times,” said Midland Business Alliance President and CEO Tony Stamas.