New small business-grant program from Wayne County

Courtesy of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce and Wayne County

Wayne County will allocate up to $50,000,000 in CARES Act funding for small business relief grants.
These grants will be given to small businesses to assist in opening their facilities after the extended
COVID-19 shut down. The CARES act gives Wayne County the opportunity to support small
businesses as they face unprecedented financial hardship. Supporting small businesses and helping
them operate through the crisis will benefit the business, the employees, the local community and
ultimately the tax revenue for the county.

Award Details

Grants will be available in incremental amounts up to $10,000 dollars based on the reported losses of each applicant. Grant amount will be determined as a sum of losses for the months of April and May, 2020 and loss amount should be based on revenue from previous months or this time last year. Businesses that do not provide clear financial records for previous years and months will not be awarded.

Grants are intended to provide funding to help small businesses reopen, and eligible expenses will include the following regular occurring costs:

● Payroll costs for permanent employees
● Contract labor
● Supplier payments
● Rent, lease, or mortgage payments for the business
● Rent, lease, or purchase payments for business equipment
● New or expanded technology applications
● Utility payments for the business
● Cost of critical business operations
● PPE and sanitation supplies
● COVID-19-related expenses: interest on other business debt obligations incurred after March 2020
● Interest on other business debt obligations incurred after March 2020

Eligibility Criteria

A business located in Wayne County that meets all the following requirements:
● Business is identified as a small business, which is a business that employs less than 50 FTE employees.
● Business has been in existence for over 1 year according to tax documentation.
● Business is located in a brick and mortar commercial building and is unable to accommodate work from home.
● Business is in good standing with the State of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
● Business total revenue that DOES NOT exceed $1 million dollars.

Businesses who have not received other forms of grant funding will be prioritized for award. Businesses who have been previously awarded may apply, but will be considered only after all new applicants have been accounted for.

Any misrepresentation of information within the application is subject to disqualification. Applications that are incomplete or missing financials, proof of location, or complete W-9 forms will not be considered.

Requirements from Businesses

Businesses will be required to fill out an application and provide proof of financial harm from
COVID-19 by providing financial statements from last year up to and through the months following
the recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak.

In order to meet eligibility; businesses must be located in Wayne County, MI, must be considered a
small business with less than 50 FTE employees, and must demonstrate it has become insolvent due to
the loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Business chains are not eligible, however
individually owned franchises are eligible. The exception being small local chains (less than 50 FTE
employees in total) with multiple locations are eligible with separate applications for each location.

Priority is given to service based businesses (eg. food, beverage, personal care, etc.) and small retailers
who depend on daily patrons.

Application Intake and Award:

The application for the small business readiness grant will be posted on a website for a minimum of 12
days. Applicants that have completed applications and meet the criteria will then be randomly selected
for processing in batches. Grants will be awarded in batches via a lottery system to ensure quick and
fair distribution of funds.

Wayne County Economic Development staff will review applications for completion and compliance.
Wayne County will be processing payments to all awarded businesses.

Grant Application & Support:

Grant application link will be posted on on June 29th.

For more information click here.

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