Alternative Funding Resources for Business

Possible additional funding sources for businesses during the Covid-19 crisis can be found below.  Please note these funding resources are not affiliated with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).  Businesses are encouraged to research carefully for legitimacy.

(Small Business Assistance | Food & Beverage Industry Assistance) | (Nonprofit Assistance)


Small Business Assistance

Consumers Energy can provide meaningful and immediate help by working with you on your utility bill; connecting you to potential sources of state and federal relief; and providing new business opportunities through the Pure Michigan Business Connect Program. Call Consumers Energy at 800-805-0490.

The MIOSHA Workplace Improvement to Safety and Health (MIWISH) Grant Program
Awards qualifying employers a dollar-for-dollar match – up to $5,000 – to purchase safety and health-related equipment and equipment-related training

MWF Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund, providing  $1,000 – $5,000 grants to assist with reopening or pivoting your business and $5,000 – $10,000 microloans with a 1-3 year repayment period. Loans are fixed rate (8%), fully amortizing, term loans.  For eligibility and to apply visit https://miwf.org/mwf-entrepreneur-resilience-fund/

Facebook for Business is working on a $100M cash grant program with ad credits for small businesses. More info to come and can be found at https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grant.

Patronicity is providing resources to businesses interested in crowdfunding during the Covid-19 crisis, including no fees or cost to start a campaign. More information can be found at
https://www.patronicity.com/small-biz#!/.

Kiva, the popular small business, crowdsourcing investment company is offering 0% loans up to $15,000 with no payments for six months. More info can be found at https://www.kiva.org/blog/support-local-businesses-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic.

MainVest, a tech company that offers crowdsourced investing in return for profit sharing is offering a zero-interest, 120 day $2,000 loan if you have an existing “brick & mortar” business that has been negatively effected but the COVOID-19 outbreak. For more information, visit https://mainvest.com/main-street-initiative.

Planet M
MEDC and PlanetM have transitioned the PlanetM Pilot Grant funds to a COVID-19 Mobility Solutions Grant, which will provide funding to mobility solutions that address the crucial challenges presented by the spread of COVID-19 within the state of Michigan. The application for the grant will close on April 24.  If your company has a solution that can deliver meaningful outcomes and meets the criteria detailed below, please fill out the application (link below). Grants will look to fund both near and long term mobility solutions that address the spread of COVID-19, including those that:

  • Limit human interaction
  • Expand no-touch technologies
  • Deliver food and supplies
  • Integrate virus detection and prevention measures (e.g., safeguarding transit)

COVID-19 Mobility Solutions Grant Application: Apply HERE


Food & Beverage Industry Assistance

James Beard Foundation has created the Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund and is currently working on application criteria. Sign up for updates on the foundation’s website at https://www.jamesbeard.org/relief to get notified when applications are open.

The Restaurant Workers Community Foundation is a society is raising money for the Restaurant Workers COVID19 Relief Fund. The fund will be allocated as grants for direct relief to restaurant workers, grants to non-profit organizations serving restaurant workers and no interest loan for restaurants. For more information, visit https://secure.restaurantworkerscf.org/np/clients/restaurantworkerscf/donation.jsp?forwardedFromSecureDomain=1&campaign=2&&test=true.

Square, the payment processor is refunding all software subscription fees for the month of March for existing sellers who currently use Square Appointments, Retail, Restaurants, Loyalty, Team Management, Payroll, Marketing, and Square Online Store. Square will manage the process for you—there’s no need to do anything. Additional product updates are also in the works. You can use the just released curbside pickup option through Square Online Store, and they plan to release a local delivery feature this week. Curbside pickup and delivery fees are waived for the next three months. For more information, please visit their website at https://squareup.com/us/en/l/immediate-support-response.

Yelp, the online review website, announced a $25 million in relief, primarily focused on supporting independent local restaurant and nightlife businesses, in the form of waived advertising fees, and free advertising, products and services, during this period. As part of this relief effort, restaurants and nightlife businesses that remain open will receive free access to Yelp page upgrades, including Business Highlights and Call To Action, as well as Connect, which will help them communicate timely information to their customers. Restaurants will also receive three months of free access to Yelp Reservations and Waitlist. For restaurant clients that offer delivery and/or takeout, Yelp will provide $100 in free search advertising. More information can be found at https://blog.yelp.com/2020/03/yelp-covid-19-response-and-support-for-local-businesses?utm_source=biz_blog&utm_medium=yelp_blog&utm_content=blog_text_link. Additionally, Yelp has partnered with GoFundMe to allow small businesses to take donations directly on their business’s Yelp page. Yelp and GoFundMe will also match the first $500 donated to any business. Learn more at https://blog.yelp.com/2020/03/yelp-teams-up-with-gofundme-to-make-it-easy-for-people-to-support-the-local-businesses-they-love.


Nonprofit Assistance

The Greater Flint Urgent Relief Fund
The Greater Flint Urgent Relief Fund has been established by a coalition of philanthropic, government and business partners to quickly coordinate and deploy resources to nonprofit organizations in the Greater Flint area that are working with communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak. https://www.cfgf.org/Our-Work-Impact/Current-Initiatives/Greater-Flint-Urgent-Relief-Fund