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$200K up for grabs to NE MI small businesses hurt by pandemic

Submitted by on March 27, 2020 – 12:46 amNo Comment

A total of $200,000 in grants is up for grabs to small businesses in five counties in northeast Michigan that have been negatively impacted by the spread of the coronavirus.

Target Alpena Economic Development Corporation will act as fiduciary of the total grant award to make sure it is directed to businesses most in need and most deserving in Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Iosco and Presque Isle counties.

The monies are coming through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and are part of the state’s effort to help small businesses that have been forced to shutdown or have otherwise been severely impacted by safety measures being enforced by the state to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Mike Mahler is the economic development director for the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce and also represents Target Alpena. He is heading up the grant distribution process and is currently organizing a selection committee that will award the grants. That committee must decide if it is going to hand out fewer grants for larger dollar amounts, or more grants but for lesser amounts.

Mahler said information on the application process, including eligibility requirements, will be posted to the chamber’s website on Friday or Monday. He said the goal is to get the money into the hands of the businesses that need it most as quickly as possible.

Mahler requested a much a larger amount of money for the 5-county area. He is hopeful the state might come back at a later date with another round of grants.

In the meantime, the MEDC is also handing out $10 million dollars in small business loans to those impacted by the pandemic. And, the federal government, through the Small Business Administration, also has large pot of money for loans.