As information about the coronavirus outbreak (COVID -19) continues to evolve, the Pontiac Regional Chamber of Commerce (PRC) is closely monitoring and complying with guidance provided by local, state and federal partners including the Oakland County Government, State of Michigan, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Our number one priority, as always, is to keep our members and community healthy and safe. The PRC office will be closed to the public through May 29th, with all Chamber volunteers working remotely (this time frame is subject to change). Please continue to contact members of our team by email. Additionally, all PRC face to face events have been canceled. Please follow our website and/or social media channels for information pertaining to resources and virtual meeting opportunities. We will also be keeping you, our members, informed about the latest news, resources and tools around the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Listed below you will find information we have compiled on resources we believe will be beneficial to you and your business including Re-Opening Resources. As information is rapidly changing, we encourage everyone to visit resource pages directly.
Hot Off The Presses! New Business Support Opportunities!
Pontiac Funders Collaborative – Small Business Relief Fund
The Pontiac Funders Collaborative has formed a $200,000 grant relief fund to help for-profit small businesses in Pontiac that have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis with their operating expenses. Grants will range from up to $2,500 for home-based businesses and up to $5,000 for brick and mortar businesses.
They are also providing technical assistance to business owners who want to apply to help you complete the application process, refer you to business support organizations and assess your family’s basic needs. Grantees will receive additional one on one technical assistance to further identify and support their needs in response to this crisis.
- Applications will go live: May 18 at 9 a.m.
- Round One applications are due: May 26 by 5 p.m.
- Decisions on Round One applications will be made: June 4
- Round Two applications will go live: June 8 at 9 a.m.
- Round Two applications are due: June 16 by 5 p.m.
- Decisions on Round Two applications will be made and applicants informed: June 23
If awarded, funds will be issued within a few days of decision dates.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
FDA Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Click Here
U. S. Chamber Of Commerce: Reopening
Ready to Reopen: A Playbook for Your Small Business
State-by-State Business Reopening Guidance: Click Here
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created this Coronavirus Communication Toolkit for businesses and workers across the country.
Centers for Disease Control:
Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes: Click Here
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) also has put together useful information for businesses on how to prepare their workplace to increase safety and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread among employees and customers.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
FEMA has provided this information about “Planning Considerations for Organizations in Reconstituting Operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Michigan Economic Development Corporation:
Resources for Michigan Businesses During COVID-19
Michigan Executive Orders: Click Here
State Of Michigan – Safe Start Plan: Click Here
Important Sites and Resources to Support Your Business and Beyond:
Pontiac Community Foundation Information:
The Pontiac Community Foundation established the Pontiac COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to resource non-profits in their response efforts & directly support the pressing needs of family and children due to school, work, and event closings.
City of Pontiac, MI COVID-19 Response Page:
City of Pontiac’s Coronavirus Information Center
Oakland County COVID-19 Response Page:
Oakland County’s COVID-19 Response Page
Sign up for Text Alerts! Text “oakgov” to 28748.
Oakland County’s COVID-19 Business Resources Page
Oakland County was awarded a $1.15 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and its Michigan Small Business Relief Program. The state grant will assist qualifying small businesses with up to $10,000 to help offset losses or expenses resulting from the coronavirus emergency. Applications were Due at Noon on April 6, 2020. The review committees are working quickly to review the applications with responses to selected candidates targeted to begin April 13th.
On Wednesday, April 29 Executive David Coulter and the Oakland County Board of Commissioners quadrupled help for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The Oakland County Small Business Stabilization Grant program will award an additional $11.7 million to Small Businesses in Oakland County.
At the direction of the Board of Commissioners, this additional funding will be efficiently distributed to businesses who applied to the fund before the April 6th deadline. Regional committees of economic leaders will reconvene to make recommendations for this second round of funding the week of May 4th. Applicants who will be awarded funding will hear via email the week of May 18.
Small Business Grant – StabilizationFundGrant@OakGov.com
Small Business Loan – StabilizationFundLoan@OakGov.com
State of Michigan COVID-19 Response Information:
Click on the links below to find more information about these resources.
- State of Michigan COVID Response Page: Click Here
- Michigan Work Share Program – Governor’s Executive Order expands Michigan’s Work Share Program. With the plan, rather than being laid off, eligible employees work a reduced number of hours in the work week and receive a portion of weekly unemployment benefits.
- Michigan Unemployment Benefits – Expanded to cover unemployment due to COVID-19. Quick fact sheet can be found here.
- Lenders are willing to work with you! Banks are offering relief to customers impacted by COVID-19. Our advice, give your lender a call.
- Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to distribute grant funding and loan-interest loans via the Michigan Small Business Relief Program. Click here for more info. Visit MEDC’s COVID-19 Resource Page for additional resources and information.
Apply Now! The Child Care Relief Fund is a non-competitive grant program that helps child care providers in Michigan cover costs during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The goal of the program is to help child care providers stay in business and make child care more affordable for Michigan families.
For more information, review the Frequently Asked Questions document before completing the Grant Application.
- Michigan Small Businesses Now Eligible For SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- Thanks to a concerted effort by the state of Michigan and the U.S. Small Business Administration, Michigan small businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Please see below for more information:
- Low-interest loans of up to $2 million are available for small businesses and private non-profits.
- Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills and have repayment options of up to 30 years.
- Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for private non-profits.
- Need help filling out the application? Access these step-by-step instructions
- Click HERE to apply now
US Chamber of Commerce Foundation:
Resilience in a Box Toolbox provided by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation to help businesses have a plan in place.
Save Small Business Fund:
- To extend a helping hand to small businesses suffering from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation – in partnership with Vistaprint and a coalition of supporting companies, foundations, and philanthropic donors – is working to provide financial relief through the Save Small Business Fund. This fund is a key pillar of the U.S. Chamber’s Save Small Business Initiative.
- The Fund is providing $5,000 in short-term relief to employers across the United States, including chambers of commerce. These one-time supplemental cash grants are for businesses that have between three and 20 employees and operate in an economically vulnerable community (you can search eligibility by zip code here).
- The grant applications are now Closed. Check the site directly for any updates. To learn more about the Save Small Business Fund and to apply for a grant, visit savesmallbusiness.com.
United Way of Southeastern Michigan Information:
- United Way and it’s partners have established the COVID-19 Fund to help ensure families in need can access health care, financial resources and other supports. Hosted by United Way in partnership with corporate, nonprofit and foundation entities, this fund will allow us to rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations that are offering emergency relief to families and individuals in need. The initial focus will be on rapid response in support of front-line agencies providing services to our most vulnerable populations. Information on this program availible under the link above.
- Funds will be dispersed for two primary purposes:
- To support community-wide collaborative efforts to close gaps in services and programs. Agency collaborations, municipalities and regional institutions are invited to submit a written proposal to COVIDFUND@UnitedWaySEM.org. Proposal submitted must include name of participating organizations and lead, geographic area and target population to be served and a description of the types of services or programs that will be provided. For more information, please email your questions to COVIDFUND@UnitedWaySEM.org.
- To support agencies that are providing direct and crucial services during ongoing COVID-19 State of Emergency, that are facing a disruption in their normal services, seeing an increase in demand for their services or experiencing both disruption and increased demand
LinkedIn Resources For Small Businesses During COVID-19:
Forbes Small Business Relief Tracker: Funding, Grants And Resources For Business Owners Grappling With Coronavirus:
Stand for Small – Business Resources:
When small businesses thrive, we all do. That’s why we’re proud to Stand For Small.
Summary of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
The legislation takes a multipronged approach to confronting the mounting crisis. It contains several measures aimed directly at helping workers, including stimulus checks for millions of Americans, and others to shore up the government safety net, with provisions such as more food stamp spending and more robust unemployment insurance benefits. It also includes numerous provisions to help businesses, providing them with zero-interest loans, tax breaks and other subsidies. The bill also includes some measures aimed at addressing the public health crisis.
Charitable Giving Incentive: The CARES Act includes a new above-the-line universal deduction for charitable contributions of up to $300. The incentive applies to contributions made in 2020. The bill also lifts the existing cap on annual contributions for those who itemize, raising it from 60 percent of adjusted gross income to 100 percent. For corporations, the bill raises the annual limit from 10 percent to 25 percent.
Hospitals and health-care spending: The legislation includes hundreds of billions of dollars in funding to help prepare America’s healthcare infrastructure for responding to the coronavirus. A $100 billion fund was developed for hospitals and providers hit hardest by the outbreak, which can be used for protective gear for healthcare workers, testing supplies and emergency operation centers, among other necessities. The legislation also increases funding for community health centers; Medicare payments; telehealth and home service; and public health agencies such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
$1,200 checks for millions of Americans: The package will send direct checks to tens of millions of families to stimulate the economy. The legislation would give taxpayers $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. The benefit would be smaller for individual taxpayers earning over $75,000 annually (or $150,000 for a couple filing jointly) and disappear altogether for individuals earning over $90,000 (or $180,000 for a couple). Eligibility for the benefit will be determined by a taxpayers’ 2019 or 2018 tax returns.
Increase in unemployment insurance benefits: The legislation will also dramatically beef up unemployment insurance benefits to protect workers from expected job losses in the coming weeks. It extends unemployment benefits to people who may not have been fired but are unable to work as a result of coronavirus — because they are sick, quarantined or need to take care of a child forced to stay home from school. The federal government will provide an additional $600 a week on top of existing unemployment benefits, which currently average about $300 a week, for four months. This applies to workers already in the unemployment system and eligible employees about to apply. These workers do not need to reapply and those about to apply do not need to take additional steps and should file as usual. If a worker’s application has previously been denied by the UIA in the past three weeks there is no need for them to reapply at this time. They will be notified by the agency with any additional action that may need to be taken.
Benefits Extended to Self-Employed, Low-Wage, and Other Workers Affected by COVID-19:
Under the CARES Act, individuals who are not already eligible for Michigan’s unemployment programs will now be provided a set amount of $600 a week for up to four months on top of the state benefit. Benefits are available for up to 39 weeks. These newly eligible individuals include self-employed workers, independent contractors, low-wage workers and those with a limited work history.
Emergency aid for state and local governments: States are expected to be hammered by the economic crunch, both with rising costs as people seek additional public assistance and lower tax revenue because of falling business activity. The federal aid package provides $150 billion to state and local governments, including $8 billion for tribal governments.
Aid to large businesses and corporations: The legislative package includes a provision for hundreds of billions of dollars in loans for large businesses getting hit hard by the outbreak. It includes $25 billion in grants for the passenger airlines; $25 billion in loans for passenger airlines; $17 billion for companies deemed critical to national security; and $425 billion for other businesses, cities and states, allocated through funding mechanisms set up by the Federal Reserve.
Emergency aid for small businesses: The bill also aims to help small companies weather the economic storm. It does so through generous zero-interest loans for businesses, including charitable organizations, with fewer than 500 employees — loans that could be forgiven if the businesses follow certain conditions, such as not firing their workers. The loans convert to grants if used for covering employee salaries, rent, paid leave, utility payments, health insurance premiums or other necessities or worker protections.