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Grand Rapids awarding grants to small businesses in Neighborhoods of Focus

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Posted at 9:25 AM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 09:25:03-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Qualifying small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and located in Grand Rapids’ neighborhoods of focus may be eligible for grants up to $10,000 to adapt to the effects of the pandemic.

The city is using $265,000 received through the CARES Act for the COVID Adaptation Program, according to a news release Monday.

Grant funding can be used for business adaptations like technology, furniture, fixtures and equipment purchases – including personal protective equipment – that are needed because of the virus’s impacts on business operations, according to City Economic Development Director Jeremiah Garcia.

Costs need to have been incurred after March 1, 2020, and there is no matching requirement for the grant.

The city previously provided grants up to $5,000 to small businesses for working capital, which includes rent, utilities and payroll.

Businesses that received those grants are eligible to apply for the COVID Adaptation Program if they’re located in the Neighborhoods of Focus and meet other eligibility requirements.

Applications will be available beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 19 and will be found here.

Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so the city encourages business owners to prepare ahead of time so they’re ready when applications open.

Businesses will need to meet all the following requirements to be eligible:

  • Have between one and 25 employees (owner may not be an employee)
  • Be a for-profit business; nonprofits are not eligible
  • Have a physical location – no internet- or home-based businesses
  • Be located in a Neighborhood of Focus
  • Have been in business since at least March 1, 2020
  • Comply with local, state and federal laws. Marijuana-related businesses aren’t eligible
  • Demonstrated loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Now owe past due taxes, fines, fees or other debts to the city
  • Retain at least one full-time equivalent low- or moderate-income job