TechTown accepting applications for emergency fund for small businesses affected by COVID-19

TechTown has launched an emergency fund that aims to provide small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic a “critical lifeline.”

In an effort to connect Detroit’s most vulnerable businesses to capital and help mitigate the effects of the coronavirus on small businesses, TechTown — in partnership with the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and Invest Detroit — will administer working capital grants in amounts of up to $5,000 to qualifying small businesses through the Detroit Small Business Stabilization Fund. The goal is to help small businesses bridge the gap until additional funding resources are announced.

“We all know what very real threat lies ahead for our local neighborhood businesses as in-person customer traffic vanishes,” TechTown CEO Ned Staebler said in a statement. “Grants of up to $5,000 will provide a critical lifeline for a business community just starting to see real gains following the Great  Recession. This support for operational costs like payroll can prevent the loss of a family’s livelihood.”

The Quicken Loans Community Fund is investing $100,000 as part of a donation the Quicken Loans Community Fund and Gilbert Family Foundation announced last Monday to address the coronavirus in Detroit. According to the City of Detroit, three people have died from the virus in Detroit, where there are nearly 350 cases as of Sunday, March 22.

“Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the cornerstone of Detroit, and we want to ensure they are set up for success to weather the uncertain times ahead,” Laura Grannemann, vice president of the Quicken Loans Community Fund, said in a statement. “We are grateful for TechTown’s leadership in establishing  the Detroit Small Business Stabilization Fund, and are proud to stand alongside the organizations providing support to Detroiters who are vulnerable to the effects of this ongoing pandemic.”

TechTown is raising $250,000 for the fund, which is part of a multifaceted strategy to support businesses.

To qualify:

  • The business owner’s personal income must be low- or moderate-income.
  • The business must have 10 employees or less.
  • The business must have a physical establishment.
  • The business must have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19.
  • Small businesses with low-income owners located in neighborhoods at high risk for displacement will be prioritized.

Grants may be used to cover the day-to-day operating expenses of the business, such as payroll or losses due to destabilizing events.

Eligible businesses can apply on TechTown’s website.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all available grant money is awarded.



Read more articles by Dorothy Hernandez.

Dorothy Hernandez is a freelance writer and editor who frequently writes about food at the intersection of culture and business. She has contributed to NPR, Midwest Living magazine, Eater, and a variety of other publications. Visit her website and follow her on Twitter @dorothy_lynn_h.
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