Small businesses to benefit from grants, low-interest loans through MEDC

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SHIAWASSEE COUNTY (WJRT) (03/26/2020) -- Make or break. Small businesses statewide are struggling to stay afloat during these difficult times. But there is some positive news out of all this and that's coming in the form of grants and low-interest loans from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“$10,000 in grant money could really make or break their ability to keep their doors open and survive this crisis,” said Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership President and CEO Justin Horvath.

Shiawassee County is among many others including Genesee and Lapeer in line to receive tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money from the MEDC’s Small Business Relief program.

“The real purpose of these dollars is to help small mom and pop businesses in our community,” Horvath said.

One example? Foster Coffee. Owner Nick Pidek has had to lay off 30 of his employees and close two of his locations. He’s rightfully concerned about the future, but does share a bit of optimism.

“It’s a start. Just knowing what our revenues are and what our costs are and the maximum that we can get,” he said.

Businesses with less than 50 people can apply for a grant up to $10,000. While businesses with more than 50 and less than 100 can apply for low-interest loans. And that relief will be a lot sooner than what you might think.

“Those applications are due back Sunday night. We will review those next Monday. Those decisions will get approved Tuesday, sent off to Lansing and then MEDC will start dispersing funds next Wednesday," Horvath added.

Shiawassee, Genesee and Lapeer County business owners can find the application online on each county’s chamber of commerce web site.

“We all know it’s crazy and we don’t know what the future’s going to hold, but we’re in this together," Pidek said.