Updated as of 5/20/2020

Helping organizations to understand the landscape of the small business and startup ecosystem and assisting them with implementing effective programs to support those businesses is what we do.  During this time, we are working to provide entrepreneurial support organizations, foundations, and government with important insights about small business and startup communities across the Midwest in order to support their efforts to create programs that help entrepreneurs weather this storm.

In an effort to extend the reach of all of the new resources being offered, we will continually be updating this list of national and Midwest resources.

Nation-wide Resources

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)

The federal government recently passed the CARES Act which allocates $350 billion to assist small businesses during COVID-19. There are a few specific programs under the CARES Act:

  • The Paycheck Protection Program provides government-backed loans to help small businesses maintain payroll through June, with the goal of incentivizing small businesses to not lay off workers and to rehire workers that were laid off due to COVID-19.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available for small businesses and nonprofits nationwide to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue. The loans, with interest rates of 2.75-3.75%, can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid. The states listed below are each eligible for economic disaster loans, with more being approved frequently.
  • Employee Retention Tax Credits are available to businesses with operations that were suspended due to a COVID-19 shut-down order or if gross receipts declined by more than 50% compared to the same quarter last year. Eligible businesses can receive a refundable 50% tax credit on wages up to $10,000 per employee.|
    Read more at USChamber.com
Google Provides Ad Credits for Small and Medium-sized Businesses

Google is giving small and medium-sized businesses worldwide that advertise using Google Ads $340 million in ad credits, which can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across Google Ads platforms.
Read more at Support.Google.com

Honeycomb Credit Provides Crowdfunded Small Business Relief Loans

Honeycomb Credit is offering nationwide crowdfunded small business relief loans featuring 45-day payment free periods, 6-month interest-only periods as well as reducing posting, success and investor fees.
Read more at HoneycombCredit.com

Kiva Expands Eligibility, Increases Loan Capacity and Extends Grace Period

Kiva U.S. is providing loans up to $15,000 for small businesses with no interest, no application fees, expanded eligibility, and an extended grace period.
Read more at Kiva.org

LISC Small Business Relief Grants

Due to a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, Local Initiatives Support Corporation is offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps. Priority will be given especially to entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served places without access to flexible, affordable capital.
Read more at LISC.org

Opportunity Fund Provides Small Business Relief Fund

Opportunity fund aims to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19 through the Small Business Relief Fund, especially those run by women, people of color, and immigrants. Opportunity Fund will provide loan repayment relief, affordable capital, and expert advice to ensure small business resilience.
Read more at OpportunityFund.org

The Small Business Association Provides Unilateral Relief for Business Owners with SBA Loans

The Small Business Association is providing unilateral relief for business owners with SBA loans, meaning they can defer payments immediately.
Read more on the SBA press release

Treasury, IRS, and Labor Announce Plan to Implement Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave

The Treasury Department, IRS and Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can take advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act gives all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide paid leave to employees for health reasons or family care.
Read more at IRS.gov

WeFunder, Crisis Loan Provides Crowdfunding Platform for Small Businesses

WeFunder hosts an investment crowdfunding platform to provide emergency funding to small businesses during the coronavirus crisis. Fees have been reduced 50%, and payments are based on revenue and deferred until 2021.
Read more at WeFund.com

Facebook Announces Small Business Grants Program (APPLICATIONS CLOSED)

Facebook is providing $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to up to 30,000 small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. More details, including how to apply, will be available soon.
Read more at Facebook.com

Illinois Resources

Cook County Community Recovery Fund

Cook County’s Bureau of Economic Development has launched The Community Recovery Fund, offering zero-interest loans of up to $20,000 for small businesses in suburban Cook County. Loans are provided by a network of community leaders and will be distributed by the Chicago Community Loan Fund.
Read more at CookCountyIL.gov

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is re-purposing $20 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois. Small businesses of up to 50 employees can partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital.
Read more at Illinois.gov

Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits Temporarily Expanded

The Illinois Department of Employment Security has announced that unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19, including to those who are temporarily laid off, quarantined, or without access to child care. A fact sheet on eligibility can be found HERE.
Read more on Illinois.gov

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation have established the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low-interest loans of up to $50,000. Businesses outside the City of Chicago with less than 50 employees and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible to apply. Small businesses located within the City of Chicago can apply to a similar loan program, the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund.
Read more at Illinois.gov

Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund (APPLICATIONS CLOSED)

The City of Chicago has established a $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund to provide small businesses with emergency cash flow during the current health crisis. Funds will be provided to eligible businesses as low-interest loans and applications will be administered through Community Development Financial Institution partners beginning on March 31.
Read more at connect2capital.com

Indiana Resources

Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits Temporarily Expanded

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has expanded unemployment benefits for those laid off due to COVID-19, in medical quarantine without leave pay, or without access to child care.  A fact sheet on eligibility can be found HERE.
Read more on IN.gov

gener8tor Hosts Emergency One-Week Virtual Programs

gener8tor is hosting emergency one-week virtual programs for small businesses, including daily webinars and one-on-one office hours to help small businesses secure resources to withstand the current crisis.
Read more at gener8tor.com

Indiana Small Business Development Center

The Indiana SBDC, which has 10 regional offices throughout the state, offers no-cost business advising for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Advisers are available to provide free advising and disaster relief loan application assistance for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more at ISBDC.org

Michigan Resources

Business Accelerator Fund Expands Services for Startup Businesses

The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved modifications to the Business Accelerator Fund to provide expanded support to early stage tech companies in response to COVID-19. Changes include an increased amount of discretionary funds available to business accelerators to more immediately provide services to small businesses, an expansion in the permissible use of BAF to include utilities, rent, or other services, and an increase in access to services for companies developing innovations that could support COVID-19 response efforts.
Read more on SBDCMichigan.org

Detroit Means Business

The City of Detroit launched the Detroit Means Business online resource hub. Get the latest information, tools, strategies, and guidance to help you navigate the many issues related to reopening your business and safely returning to work. These resources focus on what’s next for small businesses as the economy reopens, and includes information on initial testing of employees, conducting daily health screenings, workplace distancing and hygiene protocols, and guidance on the mandatory use of PPE and how to procure it.
Read more on Detroitmeansbusiness.org

East Lansing DDA Business Relief Program

The East Lansing Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has allocated $250,000 in discretionary funds to launch a Business Relief Program (BRP) for DDA businesses that are suffering financial hardship as a result of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. Brick-and-mortar businesses located within the DDA boundaries can apply for a $2,500 business relief grant through the program. A total of 100 DDA businesses will be awarded grants.
Read more on CityofEastLansing.com

Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits Temporarily Expanded

Governor Whitmer has temporarily expanded unemployment benefits to workers with unanticipated family care responsibilities, and to those who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and without access to paid family and medical leave. The executive order also expands the State’s Work Share program, encouraging employers to implement the program that permits employers to maintain productivity during declines in business activity instead of laying off workers.
Eligible employees should apply for unemployment benefits online at Michigan.gov/UIA  or 1-866-500-0017. A factsheet on how to apply for benefits can be found HERE.

Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund

Michigan Women Forward has announced the Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund to provide recovery grants and loans to diverse entrepreneurs and small businesses from underrepresented groups. The fund will provide $1,000-5,000 grants to assist with reopening or pivoting your businesses and $5,000-10,000 microloans with a 1-3 year repayment period.
Read more and apply on MIWF.org

Michigan Work Share Program

Eligiblity for the Work Share Program has been expanded in an effort to allow employers to maintain operational productivity during declines in business activity instead of laying off workers. Rather than being laid off, the plan allows eligible employees to work a reduced number of hours and receive a portion of weekly unemployment benefits.
Read more on Michigan.gov

MIWISH Grants Available for Small Employers

The MIOSHA Workplace Improvement to Safety and Health (MIWISH) Grant Program awards small employers a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $5,000, to purchase safety and health-related equipment and equipment-related training. The grant period begins annually on October 1 and grants are awarded until grant funding is expended. 
Read more and apply at Michigan.gov

Penalty and Interest Waived for 30 Days for Small Businesses

In recognition of the disruption caused by COVID-19 on business operations, the Department of Treasury is waiving penalty and interest for the late payment of tax or the late filing of the return due on March 20, 2020. The waiver will be effective for 30 days, meaning that any return or payment currently due on March 20, 2020 can now be submitted without penalty or interest through April 20, 2020.
Read more on Michigan.gov

Property Owner Rental Relief Fund

Invest Detroit has launched a Property Owner Rental Relief Fund for Detroit property owners with commercial tenants who have been impacted by the economic crisis due to COVID-19. Property owners who are providing unconditional rent relief to their retail, commercial, or office tenants may be eligible for grants supporting 2 months of tenant relief up to $10,000 total.
Read more on InvestDetroit.com

SBDC On-Demand Webinars on Cash Flow Support, E-Commerce and Human Resources

The Michigan Small Business Development Center hosts a free online webinar library curated for entrepreneurs covering all topics. Webinars in the coming weeks will include information on cash flow support, e-commerce and human resources.
Read more on SBDCMichigan.org

State Provides Guidance to Employers Contemplating Potential Layoffs

The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity encourages employers facing work shortages to place employees on temporary leave rather than termination, in order to ensure that employees remain eligible for potential federal assistance. The Unemployment Insurance Agency’s Work Share program is also encouraged for financially distressed employers that hope to continue operations by cutting back hours, rather than laying off workers.
Read more on Michigan.gov

Unemployment Insurance Agency Closes Lobbies Except for Appointments

The Michigan State Police published a press release stating that the Unemployment Insurance Agency has closed all lobbies except for customers with appointments.
Eligible employees should apply for unemployment benefits online at Michigan.gov/UIA  or 1-866-500-0017. The Michigan State Police press release can be found HERE.

Consumers Energy President and CEO Announces $1 Million Fund for Small Businesses (APPLiCATIONS CLOSED)

Consumers Energy President and CEO, Patti Poppe and her husband have donated $1 million the Jackson Community Foundation to set up the Dream Maker Small Business Emergency Relief Fund. The money will be provided as grants to small for profit businesses through The Enterprise Group, Jackson County’s economic development agency.
Read more on DreamMakerFund.org

Detroit Small Business Stabilization Fund (APPLICATIONS CLOSED)

TechTown Detroit is administering an emergency fund that provides working capital grants in amounts up to $5,000 to qualifying small businesses impacted by COVID-19 in the city of Detroit. Eligibility factors include income levels for the business owner’s household, number of employees, impact of COVID-19 on business income, and more.
Read more on TechTownDetroit.org

Emergency Fund for Washtenaw County Small Businesses (APPLICATIONS CLOSED)

Ann Arbor SPARK, Washtenaw County’s Office of Community & Economic Development, WCC’s Entrepreneurship Center and SBDC have developed an emergency fund to provide working capital grants up to $2,500 to eligible small businesses. The Resiliency Fund is specifically aimed at small businesses with low income owners located in neighborhoods at high risk for displacement and the grants can be used to over day-to-day operating expenses, including payroll or losses due to COVID-19.
Read more on WashtenawSBF.com

Michigan Strategic Fund Announces Small Business Relief Program (APPLICATIONS CLOSED)

The Michigan Small Business Relief Program will provide up to $20 million in support for small businesses negatively affected by COIVD-19 through $10 million in small business grants and $10 million in small business loans. Funding is expected to support businesses facing drastic reduction in cash flow and the continued support of their employees.
Read more on the recipients on MichiganBusiness.org

Oakland County Announces $3 Million Stabilization Fund for Small Businesses (APPLICATIONS CLOSED)

Oakland County Executive and Board of Commissioners Chairman joined together to announce plans to create a $3 million small business stabilization fund to provide immediate help to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Eligibility criteria include having 50 employees or fewer and a demonstrated loss of income and need for working capital.
Read more on oakgov.com

Tech Startup Stabilization Fund Announced (APPLICATIONS CLOSED)

ID Ventures, with support from the MEDC, has launched a fund to help stabilize Michigan startups impacted by COVID-19. The fund will provide loans and investments from $20,000 to $100,000 based on the startup’s sector, stage, estimated runway, and demonstration of need.
Read more on TSSFund.com

Ohio Resources

Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits Temporarily Expanded

Governor DeWine has expanded flexibility for Ohioans to receive unemployment benefits during Ohio’s emergency declaration period to workers who must be isolated or quarantined as a consequence of COIVD-19 and for those laid off as a result of a coronavirus-related business shutdown. A fact sheet on eligibility can be found HERE.
Read more on Ohio.gov

Expedited Emergency Loans for Small Business Losses

HFLA of Northeast Ohio is offering expedited emergency loans up to $1,500 for lost wages, childcare cost, and small business losses. These loans are designed for entrepreneurs experiencing a loss of income due to COVID-19.
Read more at InterestFree.org

TechCred Program

Ohio employers can take advantage of the TechCred program to upskill employees that may be unable to perform their typical day-to-day duties. TechCred offers employers up to $2,000 in reimbursement for every technology-focused credential earned by an employee, up to $30,000 per employer per round. Many of these trainings can be completed online and take a year or less to complete, preparing current and future employees for the technology jobs Ohio employers need.
Read more on TechCred.Ohio.gov

Wisconsin Resources

Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits Temporarily Expanded

Governor Evers announced an Emergency Order modifying the availability requirements for unemployment insurance benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19, including those laid off, in a mandatory quarantine, and more. A fact sheet on eligibility can be found HERE.
Read more on Wisconsin.gov

Emergency Loan Fund for Small Businesses

The Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce has announced a new Emergency Loan Fund in response to the negative impact that COVID-19 has had on the Wisconsin business community, aiming to provide capital to qualified small businesses. Loans start at $5,000 and are primarily used for working capital to cover rent, payroll, and other fixed expenses.
Read more at HmongChamber.org

Greater Madison COC Launches Virtual Portal for Business Questions

The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce has launched a virtual portal for employers to submit questions relating to COVID-19 and its impact on businesses.
Read more on Madisonbiz.com

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Announces Small Business 20/20

The WEDC is creating a program to provide $5 million in grants to targeted businesses throughout the state that have suffered losses related to COVID-19. Small Business 20/20 will provide grants up to $20,000 to targeted businesses with no more than 20 employees to cover rent and to meet payroll expenses, including paid leave.
Read more on WEDC.org

Ethnic & Diverse Business Coalition Announces Small Business Impact Grant (APPLICATIONS CLOSED)

The Ethnic & Diverse Business Coalition of Wisconsin has announced a small business impact grant to assist small ethnic and diverse businesses of any industry that are a business member in one of their 14 coalition members. Grants will be available up to $500.
Read more on EDBCWisconsin.org

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