DETROIT – Dearborn, in partnership with community organizations, is launching a small business relief grant program for businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dearborn Small Business Relief Grant application opens on Monday, April 27, with a May 1 deadline, for grants up to $5,000 providing small businesses with 17 employees or less and sole proprietors located in Dearborn working capital during the COVD-19 crisis.
Applications will be available here at 9 a.m. on April 27. The application process will close May 1 at 12 p.m. Awardees will receive notification via email the second week of May.
Applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria to qualify as listed on the website. Business owners who previously have been awarded a Michigan Small Business Relief Grant or the Wayne County/TCF Small Business Relief Loan Fund are not eligible to apply.
The Dearborn Small Business Relief Grant, funded by the New Economy Initiative (NEI), aims to support the businesses most often left out of major city, state and federal relief efforts due to lack of federal funding and eligibility restrictions on micro-businesses. It focuses on opening up access to capital for locally owned retailers, service business and restaurateurs, as well as makers, home-based businesses, freelancers and creative industries.
Through a partnership initiated by NEI, the Dearborn Small Business Grant is being led and administered by ACCESS, the City of Dearborn, East and West Dearborn Downtown Development Authorities, and Warren and Dix/Vernor Business District Improvement Authorities.
A grant review committee comprising members of the community will review and approve/deny the grant applications. ACCESS will distribute the funds. Grant money may be used for day-to-day operating expenses of the awarded business, which includes: payroll, rent/mortgage, inventory, and utilities; restocking inventory in preparation of re-opening to the public; and transitioning to e-commerce, curb-side pick-up and delivery integrations.
“We are pleased to be a part of this important initiative and are fully committed to doing all we can to uplift our community, support our business establishments and do our part in this crisis,” states ACCESS Chief Financial Officer Wisam Qasem-Fakhoury.
“This crisis has been a gut punch for every business owner out there,” said Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of the East and West Dearborn DDAs. “With hundreds of small businesses in Dearborn, we are doing everything we can to provide the resources they need to get through this and keep our downtown and business districts vibrant.”