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

Low Interest Loans Available for Small Businesses

The Small Business Association is providing low-interest disaster relief loans up to $2 million to 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. A current listing of eligible states can be found HERE.
Read more on Lakeshore Advantage

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.

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

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.

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.

Facebook Announces Small Business Grants Program

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.

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

The federal government recently passed the CARES Act which includes provisions to help small businesses. As one of the largest sections of the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program sets aside $350 billion in 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. The CARES Act also expands eligibility and eases the application process for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Finally, the Act makes select changes to taxes and tax policies to ease the burden on businesses impacted by COVID-19.

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.

GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative 

GoFundMe, in partnership with Yelp and Intuit QuickBooks, has created a Small Business Relief Fund, and each of the three partners has donated $500,000 to the fund. Now open for donations, the fund will provide grants to small businesses across the U.S., starting with the hardest hit areas. Further, the fund will be issuing $500 matching grants to qualifying small businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.

Illinois Resources

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.

Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund

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.

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.

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.

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.

Michigan Resources

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.

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  or 1-866-500-0017. A factsheet on how to apply for benefits can be found HERE.

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.

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  or 1-866-500-0017. The Michigan State Police press release can be found HERE.

Michigan Strategic Fund Announces Small Business Relief Program

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.

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.

Detroit Small Business Stabilization Fund

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.

Consumers Energy President and CEO Announces $1 Million Fund for Small Businesses 

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.

Emergency Fund for Washtenaw County Small Businesses 

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.

Coulter: Oakland County Plans to Create $3 Million Stabilization Fund for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Oakland County Executive David Coulter and Board of Commissioners Chairman Dave Woodward joined together today to announce plans to create a $3 million small business stabilization fund to provide immediate help for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants may be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business.Applications for grant consideration will be available next week online at

Michigan Work Share Program

Eligibility 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.

Ohio Resources

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.

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.

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.

Wisconsin Resources

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.

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.

Ethnic & Diverse Business Coalition Announces Small Business Impact Grant

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.

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.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: