Workforce and Business Resources
The impact of COVID-19 on all facets of business has been enormous. State and Federal organizations are working around the clock to develop methods to support employees and employers in this trying time. Due to the sheer amount of resources and information being developed, we have compiled some of the best tools and the websites one should go to to access them.
BCEGA COVID-19 Rebate Program
For details review the program flyer (click here to view).
New!! Michigan Business Restart Grant Program
The Michigan Small Business Restart Program is a new grant program that will support small businesses and nonprofits that are reopening and have experienced a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Our 7-county region has been approved for over $7.5 million of grant funding through this new program. See below for qualifications and application details.
To qualify, a business/organization must meet the following criteria:
- Has 50 employees or less
- Is a business or nonprofit that can demonstrate it is affected by the COVID-19 emergency
- Needs working capital to support eligible expenses
- Demonstrates an income loss as result of the COVID-19 emergency
- Has not received a grant through the Michigan Strategic Fund’s Michigan Small Business Relief Grant Program. Businesses who have received support through other COVID-19 relief programs, including the Michigan Small Business Relief Program loans, are eligible to apply for Restart grants.
Maximum grant amount: $20,0000
Eligible uses of funds: working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses.
At least 30% of the funds awarded under the program must be provided to women-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned eligible businesses.
Application window: July 15 – August 5
Financial Relief Quick Reference Guide
The Pay Check Protection Program (PPP)
Small Business Administration (SBA) Programs
Unemployment Benefits and Information
Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Executive Order: Frequently Asked Questions
PMBC Virtual Procurement
Michigan Economic Development Corporation ,
Southwest Michigan First
Using Schedule-C and Schedule-F for Payroll Protection Grant
Did you know that you can apply for the PPP using the earnings reported on your schedule C and schedule F? PPP is a flexible program that can help meet your businesses needs, even as a self employed person. Annual earnings can be used to calculate your PPP amount instead of payroll.
For more detailed information about how your PPP amount will be calculated, visit think link and talk to your local banker.
Financial Relief Quick Reference Guide
Click here for a quick comparison of all the funding sources detailed below.
Resilience Microloan and Grant Fund
Requirements to apply for a Resilience Grant: For additional requirements and details, visit the program web page.
COVID-19 Business Support Rebate Program for Downtown Coldwater Businesses
The Coldwater Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has allocated $10,000 to help businesses emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with strength. This program addresses two specific goals that are more important than ever as our businesses prepare to reopen:
- Strengthen business resiliency: adapt to demand for digital products and services
- Improve health and safety for shoppers, clients, and staff: reduce touch points and opportunities for direct contact with customers
The DDA will offer a 75% rebate up to $500 per business for expenses related to these goals.
Access the program application using this link.
Senator Gary Peter's office released a guide to the relief funding programs that were enacted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Payroll Protection Program, and the Healthcare Enhancement Act.
Small Business Owner's Guide to COVID-19 Relief Funding
The guide offers detailed program overviews and FAQs for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Grant, Small Business Debt Relief Program for SBA loans, and SBA business counseling. Access the guide here.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Work Space Hygiene
- G.W. Display Fixtures- Meeting panels and guards; sanitizer stands; foot door pulls, etc.
- Envirolite- Face shields and hand sanitizer bottles (2 oz. and 16 oz.)
- City Glass- Temporary and permanent sneeze guards
- DWV Mechanical- "Air Scrubber" filtration system
- Caremor Coldwater Pharmacy- kn95 masks, surgical masks, thermometers, hand sanitizer
- C.E.M. Supply - Hand sanitizer and cleaning products
PMBC Virtual ProcurementThis program will help source health and human service supply needs amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Businesses who are in need of supplies, and companies or organizations who have supplies to donate or produce, should work with PMBC Virtual Procurement. The forms can be accessed here.
Michigan Hospitality Employee Relief Fund
The second round of applications for this fund is now live. Workers in the hospitality industry can apply for grants to help cover costs associated with utility and vehicle bills, food support, housing assistance, medical bills, and others. The application is available by clicking this link.
Save Small Business Fund**The U.S. Chamber is providing supplemental financial assistance by launching a Save Small Business Fund. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the U.S. Chamber Foundation will be providing $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities.
To qualify, you must:
- employ between 3 and 20 people (including yourself).
- be located in an economically vulnerable community (our local zip codes qualify:49028, 49036, 49082, 49094)
- have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic
**Due to overwhelming demand, the fund is not accepting additional applications at this time.
The PPP should not be confused with the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) which are also available to help small businesses and can be used for utility bill and rent payments. However, there are different conditions. To see which program works best for you, click here.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Programs
Disaster Loans**Federal disaster loans for business, private nonprofits, homeowners, and renters.
For business applicants, the EIDL is a low-interest, fixed-rate loan that can provide up to $2 million in assistance. SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDLs) funds come directly from the U.S. Treasury. Applicants do not go through a bank to apply, and instead, apply directly to SBA’s Disaster Assistance Program.
Actual loan amounts are based on the amount of economic injury. These loans provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing because of COVID-19. The EIDL helps meet the necessary financial obligations that your business or private non-profit organization could have met had the disaster not occurred. EIDLs do not replace lost sales or revenue.
For eligibility and terms, visit the SBA's intake page.
**Program has received additional funding. SBA resumed processing applications that are already in queue and is now accepting NEW applications as well.
Disaster Loan Advance
This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance funds will be made available within days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. Additional information here.
Express Bridge Loans
Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, or other long term financing, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan. The Bridge Loan will be repaid, in part or in full, by the proceeds from the EIDL. Additional information here.
As part of SBA's debt relief efforts,The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of
- current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months
- new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
More information on SBA debt relief programs here.
To help manage the flow of applicants, the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is implementing a schedule based on an applicant's last name. This schedule applies to both online applications and the call center.
To file a claim and see the schedule, visit the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency website.
Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
The FFCRA requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Act applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees, and includes some exemptions for businesses who would experience significant duress from complying.
The Department of Labor is also requiring employers to make information available regarding employee’s rights under this act. Click to download the required poster.
Generally, the Act provides that covered employers must provide to all employees:
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor.
A covered employer must provide to employees that it has employed for at least 30 days:
- Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
For additional information and guidance, please refer to the links below:
The Employer Retention Tax Credit is a 50% tax credit for the first $10,000 of an employee’s compensation. To claim the credit, you will include 50% of eligible wages on your second quarter Form 941, 941-SS or 941-PR.
The Employee Retention Credit is for employers that are entitled to a refundable tax credit for providing the required leave paid under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA). The Employer Retention Tax Credit maxes out at $10,000; thus each employee paid during that time period could garner up to $5,000 in tax credits.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides $350 billion for 100 percent federally-guaranteed loans for eight weeks of assistance to small businesses and 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals are also eligible for these loans.
- Loans can be forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities.
- SBA-certified lenders and non-SBA lenders would be authorized to make Payment Protection loans. All lenders participating in the Payment Protection Program, including banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions will be moved to delegated authority which allows lenders to process loans quickly without SBA approval.
- The Secretary of the Treasury would have authority to work with the SBA to expedite the approval process and bring new lenders into the program.
- CARES Act Coronavirus Resource Guide
- What Small Businesses Should Know About the Coronavirus Bill
- What Families & Individuals Should Know About the Coronavirus Bill
- CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program and Loan Forgiveness
- What Education Professionals Should Know About the Coronavirus Stimulus Bill
- CARES Act: Frequently Asked Questions on Direct Financial Assistance
What can and can’t I do under the Governor’s order?
Is my business or employer an "Essential Business?"
If my business is essential, what should I do to comply with the order?
For answers to these frequently asked questions and more, click here.
If you wish to access their site, click here.
Southwest Michigan First is the most comprehensive aggregate of business resources for the State of Michigan. Here are some of the information categories you will be able to find on their website:
- Executive Orders
- Small Business
- Virtual Procurement Assistance
- Unemployment Benefits and Guidance for Employers Contemplating Layoffs
- Financial Relief Measures
- Legal Task Forces
- Federal Resources
- Employer Best Practices
- National & Global Health Data
Southwest Michigan First, the regional economic development catalyst based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on April 3rd announced 144 small business grant recipients are receiving allocations as part of the state’s Michigan Small Business Relief Program. Grants may be used by recipients for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business.
Update: Michigan Small Business Relief Grants
This funding is made possible by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation releasing $10 million in small business grants from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) to regional economic development agencies for businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The seven-county Southwest Michigan region received $800,000 to be administered among businesses located throughout Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties. Funding allocations were based on the concentration of eligible small businesses within each county. The average grant award was $5,555.Read the complete press release.
DefinitionsSelf- Monitoring, Quarantine, Isolation, and more. Click to download the handout.
- How to stay successful through COVID-19
- COVID-19 Critical Supplies Survey
- FAQ: COVID-19 Response Strategies
- Downloads and Links (Supply chain disruption planning; Food safety FAQ; etc).
- Message Board: Capabilities and Needs
- Repurposing your facility to meet critical needs
- Plant layout
- Establishing Standard Work processes
- Total Productive Maintenance and Single Minute Exchange of Dies
- ERP support and consultation
- Cost Mentoring – Activity Based Costing
- Supplier Scouting
- Market Research and Diversification
We are here for you! If you are a Branch County business and you have additional questions about this current situation that are not answered on this page, please reach out to us.
Lisa Miller, Branch County Economic Growth Alliance (517) 279-9531 X 6909
Audrey Tappenden, Coldwater Economic Development (517) 279-9531 X 6913