MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) was given more money to award as grants to small businesses and nonprofits across Clinton, Ingham, and Eaton counties.
The money was allocated from the Michigan Small Business Restart Program, which was created by the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) on July 7th, 2020. MSF was given $100 million from the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund. $5.5 million of this money was given to LEAP.
LEAP’s CEO and president, Bob Trezise, spoke about all the work LEAP has done and how they plan to handle these new funds.
“Leading our region’s efforts to both persevere and rebuild our local three-county economy, LEAP is once again spearheading the efforts to restart small local businesses and nonprofits,” he said. “With this program and others, LEAP will have directly distributed nearly $7.2 million in grants, loans, and One&All inclusive entrepreneurship program funding to our regional economy, in a mere five-month timeframe. This is an enormous organizational task, one that LEAP is proud to execute, but can only be accomplished with the crucial partnership of the MEDC, the financial and expert support of LEAP members and the nearly one hundred local partners and organizations involved in this process. LEAP will be intentional about equitable distribution of these funds.”
There is a single, state-wide application through the Michigan Small Business Restart Program that opened on July 15th, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Businesses are eligible if they have 50 or fewer total employees and workers, which continue to have financial hardships from COVID-19. Applicants will only be able to apply for grants up to $20,000. Applications will only be available until Wednesday, August 5th, 2020.
State law requires that at least 30 percent of regional funds be awarded to minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses. So, in order to meet all needs and requirements, LEAP staff, their 70 regional economic development partners, and their local diversity, equity, and inclusion partners all worked together to determine the funding distribution and related review criteria and process for the Lansing region restart grant program.
The Lansing region restart grant program plans to award a total of 402 grants across Clinton, Ingham, and Eaton counties. 200 $10,000 grants will be awarded to microbusinesses with 9 or fewer total paid employees, 125 $20,000 grants will be awarded to traditional small businesses with 10 to 50 total paid employees, and 77 $10,000 grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations with 50 or fewer total paid employees.
More information can be found on LEAP’s website at www.purelansing.com/businessrelief. There, people can also find a full list of partners, all eligibility requirements, application scoring criteria, a description of the review process, and a list of organizations available to help applicants apply.