Restart Flint & Genesee FAQ

What types of businesses or industries are eligible to apply for the program?

  • Barbershops/Hair Salons
  • Tattoo Parlors
  • Bars/Restaurants
  • Retail
  • Construction/Landscaping
  • Daycare
  • Fitness gyms
  • Senior Living/Care Facilities
  • Non-critical manufacturing
    • For example, automotive suppliers to the OEMs who must adapt to new protocols may need some financial assistance.

Are normal operating expenses (such as, rent, salaries, utilities, etc.) allowable uses for this grant program?

  • This program does not cover normal business operating expenses. It is designed to support expenses associated with COVID-19 that would not normally have been incurred. The Flint & Genesee Chamber worked with funders to establish the criteria and definition of use of funds. These parameters comply with legal requirements for charitable giving to for-profit businesses. Therefore, the specific focus is limited to helping small businesses meet the additional costs associated with reopening and operating under the state-mandated guidelines to protect public health during business hours.

What is the size of the individual grants?

  • Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis.

May I still apply if my business has received other financial support related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as PPP, EIDL loans, MEDC grants/loans?

  • Yes. However, applicants are required to state whether they have applied for other financial support and whether or not they were successful.

Will preference be given to those businesses that are considered essential to their community or neighborhood, like a grocery store?

  • While it won’t be the sole determining factor, it certainly will be a factor in the decision-making process. Applicants are urged to state whether they feel their businesses fit that description and explain why.

What kind of expenses directly associated with activities and purchases to reopen a business are considered acceptable?

Examples include:

  • Purchase of personal protection equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves, etc.
  • Cleaning services to sterilize and deep clean facilities
  • Cleaning supplies
  • New Point of Sale systems that allow for carryout/online purchases
  • Physical improvements to facilities that create space for social distancing, i.e. creating wider aisles

May a business apply for a grant to be reimbursed for reopening expenses already incurred and/or paid out-of-pocket?

  • No. The Restart Flint & Genesee program covers upcoming, or future, costs only. Applications for retroactive payment for items/services already purchased will not be considered.

How are applications submitted?

How will applications be evaluated?

  • All applications will be evaluated by a review committee, comprised of business and community leaders in Flint & Genesee. The review committee will select the recipients.

What types of businesses or industries are NOT eligible to apply?

  • Franchises
  • Critical Manufacturing/Industrial Base Firms
  • Transportation/Logistics
  • Financial Services
  • Legal Services
  • Real Estate/Landlord
  • Farms
  • “Sin Businesses” – cannabis, casinos, strip clubs, liquor stores, etc.
  • Medical Offices
  • Nonprofit organizations

Some bars and restaurants are franchise operations? Why wouldn’t such franchises be eligible for the program?

  • The program targets businesses that have been significantly impacted by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order. Some franchises receive support from their parent corporations. And many franchises have been allowed to offer at least modified service, such as curbside pickup, and haven’t been as impacted as an independently owned and operated establishments.

Are businesses with more than one owner eligible to apply to the program?

  • Yes.

How will the funds be paid to the grantees?

  • Funds will be distributed by check or ACH debit.

Are the grants taxable?

  • The small business grants may be taxable. However, depending on what the dollars are used for, it also may be used as a write-off for businesses. Grant recipients are advised to contact their tax planner.

Where can you learn more about the program, the application criteria and deadlines?

  • Two informational webinars are scheduled:
    • The first webinar will be May 8 at 10 a.m.
    • The second webinar will be May 15 at 10 a.m.

Will the names of the grantees be released publicly?

  • A public-disclosure agreement is part of the grant criteria. Applicants must acknowledge and accept that the names of the grantees will be shared publicly with the news media as well as on the Chamber’s website and social media channels.

Could an approved applicant potentially receive a $5,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation-funded pool and another $5,000 from the Mott Foundation-funded pool? (That would be up to $10,000 total.)

  • No. An approved applicant would receive a grant up to $5,000 total, regardless of which funding source it’s drawn from.

Are the eligibility criteria different between the Consumers Energy Foundation and Charles Stewart Mott Foundation grants?

  • Yes. The Consumers Energy Foundation grant will be used to assist small businesses in throughout Genesee County. The Mott Foundation grant is earmarked for African American-owned businesses in Flint.

Is the application deadline still May 24?

  • Yes.

Will there more than one wave of funding for the Restart Flint & Genesee program? Will applications not funded in the first wave of grants still be considered for future opportunities with the program?

  • Quite possibly. The Chamber is continuing to pursue other funding sources to support the Restart Flint & Genesee program. Eligibility for future grant opportunities may depend on any additional criteria the funders require.
  • Updated information will be shared at the appropriate time.

Is technical assistance available for applicants who have questions or need help in completing applications?