Start Garden aims to help local businesses impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 8:41 AM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 20:12:46-04

GRAND RAPIDS — Start Garden is launching a fund to help local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 100 Comeback will provide $300,000 in small businesses grants to area companies and their families during this time of need as a way to promote self-care for themselves and loved ones.

Applications will be accepted from April 7 at 8 a.m. to April 11 at 12 p.m.

“Our community, our residents and entrepreneurship itself is in crisis right now,” said Jorge Gonzalez, Start Garden co-director. “While most federal and state relief is about a business and its employees, none address the entrepreneurs who didn't have the time to grow their business to the point that their own families are supported for the next few months.”

Current business owners who meet any of the following criteria can apply:

Have a demonstrated personal need.
Can verify their business was shut down, or severely impacted, as a result of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders.
Can verify the business has a loyal customer base.
Is located (or has a registered address) in Kent County.

“The funds we provide are not expected to be repaid, nor are we expecting any investment or favor from the person,” said Start Garden co-director Darel Ross II. “No entrepreneur should be worried about safety and shelter for their family, while carrying the burden to figure out how to reopen and rehire when the dust settles.”

You can register at [

Record and upload a 100 second video that answers these questions:

  • What does your household need to get through the next few months? (You are not obligated to open your business right away. Instead, take the time needed to be safe, navigate this new business landscape and plan for the future.)
  • Share a little about your business: How long has it been open? What do you do? Who are your customers? How has the COVID-19 shut down impacted you/your business?