Oakland County retail stores, restaurants and personal service businesses such as salons and fitness centers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic can apply beginning today for part of the $32 million Oakland Together Small Business Recovery Grant fund.
The grants — which range from $2,500-$10,000 — provide an infusion of capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar ones that occur in the ordinary course of business. The funds come from Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act money allocated to Oakland County by the federal government.
“We know that many of our small businesses have reopened but the losses they suffered while they were closed or operating at reduced capacity are significant and continue to threaten their viability,” Oakland County Executive David Coulter said. “We want to do all we can to help them recover and continue to provide the goods and services that are so important to our residents.”
In June, Coulter requested the county Board of Commissioners allocate $32 million to create the recovery grants. The board unanimously approved the request, with $30 million of the allocation earmarked for small businesses. Only businesses that operate a physical location in Oakland County are eligible to receive grant funds through this program.
Applications are accepted online at www.oakgov.com/covid/grants, which also describes the program in detail and lists the type of eligible businesses, which include:
- Retail trade
- Food and lodging
- Business and personal services
- Entertainment and recreation
- Construction and maintenance services
The deadline to apply is Aug. 24. Award determinations will be made about every two weeks until the deadline.
The funds are intended to support for-profit businesses with 100 or fewer employees that suffered actual or anticipated losses from March 2020 through July 2020 due to the pandemic:
- Experienced a loss of revenue
- Operated at a reduced level of production, sales, employment or service
- Fully closed all operations and are now in the process of reopening
Coulter and the board have been aggressive in funding programs and services to help mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic to businesses, communities and residents, devoting more than $100 million to the cause.
Allocations and services include:
- Nearly $14 million to 3,500 small businesses seriously impacted by the pandemic. Grants averaged nearly $4,000 from the small business stabilization fund.
- The “Saving Businesses, Saving Lives” grant, which incentivized Oakland County manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment for health care workers, hospitals and first responders, is included in the nearly $14 million fund.
- $10 million fund to support non-profit organizations
- $32 million to assist Oakland County communities with costs related to COVID-19
- 15,000 Oakland Together COVID-19 safety kits which include facemasks, no-touch thermometers, gloves and sanitizer were created to give small businesses essential materials for reopening and customers confidence they would have a safe experience. The kits are available to small businesses, faith-based and nonprofit organizations.
- $32 million to help retail stores, restaurants and personal service businesses such as salons and fitness centers that were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
- $8.1 million for the Rent, Mortgage & Utility Relief Program to assist eligible county residents who have fallen behind on their rent, mortgage or utility payments because of a lost job or other income reduction due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a one-time grant of up to $15,000 per household.