Oakland County exec: $3M in business aid on the way

Oakland County on Wednesday announced the details of a $3 million fund to provide immediate help for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The County has received a $1.15 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and its Michigan Small Business Relief Program, which will give qualifying small businesses up to $10,000 to help offset losses or expenses resulting from the coronavirus emergency.

The state is expected to distribute the money to the county by April 1.

Here’s how businesses can qualify:

  • The company is in an industry outlined in Executive Order 2020-20 or any subsequent Executive Order of similar intent (“EO”), or demonstrates it is otherwise affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as meeting additional criteria.
  • The company has 50 employees or fewer.
  • The company needs working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business.
  • The company can demonstrate an income loss as a result of the EO, or the COVID-19 outbreak.

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.

“We are grateful for the state’s support and it is a great first step but more needs to be done,” County Executive David Coulter said in a press release. “Shuttered businesses are driving unemployment increases at unprecedented rates. Oakland County saw nearly 16,000 more individuals apply for unemployment last week..”

Coulter said $700,000 of the stabilization fund will be used to encourage companies to shift their manufacturing capabilities to the manufacture of personal protective equipment for hospitals and health care workers such as face mask, gowns and other needed items.

More than 500 businesses are clothing and sewing manufacturers, plastics and 3D printing and automotive and paint suppliers, Coulter said. “We need to lean in and lead now for the safety and welfare of those that are fighting on the front-lines of this virus.”

Applications for grant consideration will be available next week online at OakGov.com/COVID.

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