As concern around the coronavirus outbreak (COVID -19) continues to grow, 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 April 30th, 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.  As information is rapidly changing, we encourage everyone to visit resource pages directly.

Important Sites and Resources to Support Your Business:

 

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 Stabilization Fund for Small Businesses

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.

Instructions:

Click the Small Business Grant Link below to complete the online Eligibility and Application Form.

Small Business Grant

 Click the Small Business Loan button below to complete the online Eligibility and Application Form.

Small Business Loan

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.

SBA Information:

  • 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.

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.