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 Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Director Vicky Rad announce the beginning of a small business sustainability grant program June 11 at COMTEC in Mount Clemens.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Director Vicky Rad announce the beginning of a small business sustainability grant program June 11 at COMTEC in Mount Clemens.

Photo provided by Macomb County


Small businesses can stake claim for $20 million in grants

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published June 18, 2020

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MACOMB COUNTY — On June 11, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Director Vicky Rad announced the beginning of a small business sustainability grant program.

Approximately $20 million in grants through federal CARES Act funding will be distributed to aid those impacted by the shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants are part of the Macomb County CARES for Small Business program — $70 million of a total of $152 million allotted to the county through federal funding.

Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded, or a total of about 4,000 business recipients. Businesses will be notified of grant status no later than July 1, with funds being rolled out July 2 and on a rolling basis.

Other CARES money will go toward the distribution of personal protective equipment and other efforts to prepare safe reopening practices and future emergency preparedness needs.

About 95% of county businesses fall under the “small business” moniker, Rad said, which includes companies with 49 or fewer employees. The grant application is available on www.macombbusiness.com. The process officially started at 11 a.m. June 11 and will conclude at 11:59 p.m. June 24.

“We have a lot of small businesses in Macomb County. They’re the heart of Macomb County,” she said.

The application can be filled out if businesses meet the following criteria: they have physical locations in the county; they have 49 or fewer employees; they are a for-profit organization; they have a valid employer identification number; they have been in business for at least 12 months; they showcase “a verifiable need for working capital,” such as payroll expenses, rent and utility expenses; and they are able to verify they have experienced a loss in revenue or business due to the pandemic.

Each application must include a signed W-9 form from the past 12 months; a utility bill, such as rent, mortgage, water, gas, electric or phone, within the past six months that lists the business address; and a signed and dated affidavit.

Hackel praised the compliance efforts of county businesses, saying “they’ve been there every step of the way of this crisis.” He said the county is alert to residents’ and owners’ concerns, and is optimistic about the future due to dramatic decreases in county COVID-19 cases and deaths.

He also acknowledged that these grants won’t answer all economic challenges. Comfort levels — such as underlying health issues or being older and more susceptible to the virus — will determine when individuals return to restaurants, for example, in bigger numbers.

While he advised those still fearful to stay home, he lauded the businesses that are working within social distancing and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to reopen. He mentioned how fitness centers could safely reopen and be part of the solution.

“We’ve got two crises going at once, and you just can’t continue to say until there’s a vaccine we can’t have anything going on with the economy,” he said. “I don’t think anyone believes that.”

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