Local Business Resources during COVID-19

Because there’s a lot of information out there, we compiled some of the most available funding resources for West Michigan small businesses. 

Note: This list will continue to update as we see more resources and as applications close. All of the information in this list was found on the respective organization’s website. 

MEDC Small Business Restart Grant

Over $9.5 million in grant funding has been allocated from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to The Right Place in an effort to support eligible West Michigan businesses.

Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first serve basis.


  • Businesses and nonprofits with 50 or fewer employees, worldwide, located in Michigan who have NOT received a grant under the Michigan Small Business Relief Program (MSBRP).
  • Part of an industry or nonprofit that can demonstrate it has been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Needs working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses.
  • Demonstrates an income loss as result of the COVID-19 emergency as determined by the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF).

At least 30% of the funds awarded under this program will be provided to women-owned, minority-owned or veteran-owned eligible businesses.

Applications for funding will open on July 15, 2020, and all applicants must apply through the MEDC website regardless of past applications submitted.

For more information and to see a list of contacts by county, please visit our site at rightplace.org/for-local-business/small-business-restart-grant.

Rende Progress Capital – RACE4Progress Loan Fund

Rende Progress Capital is launching the RACE4Progress Loan Fund [Recovery Addressing COVID-19 & Exclusion] to provide progressive, low interest loans and a flexible application process to Excluded Entrepreneurs in the Grand Rapids Area/Kent County. Excluded Entrepreneurs are African-American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian American, Native American, and immigrant business owners who have experienced barriers to capital due to racial bias, growing negative impacts to their business due to COVID-19 and exclusion from some small business recovery initiatives. 


  • 1% interest rate small business loan. Loan amounts are between the ranges of $10,000 to $25,000. 
  • No principal and interest payments for the first 90 days after the loans are approved. 
  • For Grand Rapids/Kent County Excluded Entrepreneurs owning existing businesses meeting our racial equity criteria and who can share in brief narrative how COVID-19 has impacted them as a business of color. 
  • Patient loan terms from 12 months to 60 months. 
  • Convenient process of application with other flexible criteria that is also open to undocumented immigrant business owners. 

FAQ: www.rendeprogresscapital.com/clients

RPC is now accepting applications through its RACE4Progress Fund Home Page at www.rendeprogresscapital.com.

Kent County Small Business Recovery Program

This fund is focused on using Coronavirus Relief Funds provided under the CARES Act to support for-profit businesses with 0-25 full-time equivalent employees located in Kent County.

This fund helps businesses that have not been able to access, or have been declined for local, state, or federal relief funds, or need additional support to weather this crisis. We are focused on businesses that may be dealing with additional barriers including but not limited to language, general business knowledge, and from underserved communities. Consistent with the limitations of the CARES Act, these businesses also must have been directly impacted and experienced losses due to business interruption due to COVID-19.  All distributions of funds are subject to the requirements of the CARES Act and Treasury Department guidance on the use of Coronavirus Relief Funds.


  • Must be a private, for-profit business located and registered in Kent County with 25 employees (FTEs) or fewer
  • Must have been directly impacted and experienced losses due to business interruption due to COVID-19.
  • Must have a business start date prior to 2/15/2020

Businesses that qualify for this fund will receive: A short-term economic relief grant ranging from $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 depending on size of business, operating costs, and additional scoring metrics.

Apply and get more information: www.grandrapids.org/kent-county-small-business-recovery-program.

Michigan Women Forward – Resilience Fund

This new opportunity presented by MWF, the MEDC, the SBA and other funders was created to provide grants and loans to entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups that are experiencing hardships and changes due to COVID-19. 

Grants: $1,000 – $5,000 grants to assist with reopening or pivoting a business.

Microloans: $5,000 – $10,000 loans with a 1-3 year repayment period. Loans are fixed rate (8%), fully amortizing, term loans.

Applications are open at www.miwf.org.

Start Garden – The 100 Comeback

A $300,000 fund to help entrepreneurs and their families in need to stay safe and stay afloat while they figure out how to make their own “comeback.” 

Registration will open at 8am Tuesday, April 7 until 12pm noon Saturday, April 11. You can submit an appeal on the 100 Comeback website

Business owners qualify if they:

  • Demonstrate a personal need
  • Can verify their business was shut down, or severely impacted, as a result of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders
  • Can verify their business has a loyal customer base
  • Are located (or have a registered address) in Kent County OR have been selected in the past to participate in The Start Garden 100 or 5×5 Night to qualify.

Additionally, business owners are encouraged to submit video testimonies of how this virus has impacted them and their business in 100 seconds or less 

More detailed information can be found on their FAQ. Some important additional details are listed below:

  • These are grants to individual entrepreneurs, so they can be safe and adapt to this changing landscape as they prepare to reopen and rehire.
  • Money is awarded on a case-by-case basis based on the needs of the entrepreneur. We don’t expect each household to require the same amount to get through the next 100 days.
  • We use the same process we’d use for the Start Garden 100. Other entrepreneurs in the community and entrepreneur support organizations are invited to weigh in and can factor heavily in the decisions. The final decision comes down to Start Garden organizers.
  • Funds are expected to be distributed in mid-April, after all of the requests are reviewed and selections are made.
  • Additional allocations are available for minority- and women-owned businesses and tech companies that are connected with the Grand Rapids SmartZone.
  • Entrepreneurs who receive funds can use this money to support the personal needs of themselves and their families, including groceries, personal bills, medical needs, and more.

COVID-19 Emergency Access & Retooling Grants

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation Pure Michigan Business Connect service is providing up to $1 million in grant funding for Michigan manufacturing businesses and nonprofits to retool and manufacture critical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Businesses are eligible if:

  1. They are in accordance with Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards or be an established non-profit entity
  2. Be in good standing with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)
  3. Provide an EIN number linked to a Michigan address
  4. Ability to begin manufacturing product within 30 days of award
  5. Be a registered State of Michigan SIGMA vendor. Please refer to https://sigma.michigan.gov/webapp/PRDVSS2X1/AltSelfService if you need to complete registration

Grants of $10,000 – $150,000 may be given out per entity to be used for:

  1. Procuring necessary equipment to manufacture critical supplies
  2. Logistics/Shipping costs of procuring necessary equipment
  3. Technological upgrades
  4. Other costs related to operationalizing new production lines

Eligible applications will be reviewed by the panel within 48 hours. 

Products may include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Eyewear
  • Face Shield
  • Gloves
  • Gowns
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Hospital beds
  • N95 Masks
  • No-touch thermometers
  • Surgical Masks
  • Testing Supplies
  • Ventilators
  • Wipes

SBA – COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides Federal Disaster Loans for businesses, private non-profits, homeowners and renters. The COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan is there for small businesses to access during this time. 

Applicants must fit a certain criteria to be eligible, including but not limited to being:

  • A business with not more than 500 employees.
  • An individual who operates under a sole proprietorship, with or without employees, or as an independent contractor.
  • A cooperative with not more than 500 employees.
  • An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), as defined in 15 U.S.C. 632, with not more than 500 employees.
  • A tribal small business concern, as described in 15 U.S.C. 657a(b)(2)(C), with not more than 500 employees.
  • A business, including an agricultural cooperative, aquaculture enterprise, nursery, or producer cooperative, that is small under SBA Size Standards found at https://www.sba.gov/size-standards.
  • A business with more than 500 employees that is small under SBA Size Standards found at https://www.sba.gov/size-standards.
  • A private non-profit organization that is a non-governmental agency or entity that currently has an effective ruling letter from the IRS granting tax exemption under sections 501(c),(d), or (e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or satisfactory evidence from the State that the non-revenue producing organization or entity is a non-profit one organized or doing business under State law, or a faith-based organization.

Facebook for Business – Small Business Grants Program 

*for businesses located in Detroit only. 

Facebook is offering small businesses the chance to access $100 million in cash grants and ad credits due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. 

Up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries where Facebook operates will be able to receive the grant. To be eligible to apply, businesses must:

  • Have between 2 and 50 employees
  • Have been in business for over a year
  • Have experienced challenges from COVID-19
  • Be in or near a location where Facebook operates (nearest is Detroit, MI)

Tech Startup Stabilization Fund (TSSFund)

ID Ventures, with lead support from the MEDC, launched this fund to help small tech businesses impacted by COVID-19.

To be eligible, businesses must fit the following criteria:

  • A technology-based startup company headquartered in Michigan with the majority of employees located in the state

  • Product-oriented, scalable business – not intended for consulting and fee-for-service companies

  • Less than 50 employees (as of April 20th)

  • Prior investment from angel or venture capital sources

  • Demonstrated capital shortfall within 12 months (less than 1 year of runway time)

  • Ability to achieve at least 9-12 months of runway time with funding from the Tech Startup Sustainability Fund and additional funding sources

  • Appropriate product/solution traction for your company’s stage prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, measured by users, revenue, or development progress

  • Long-term funding sustainability plan in place, including developed relationships with investors, or a clear path to profitability within 12 months

  • Matching angel investor and/or VC funds are encouraged

More information can be found here: https://www.tssfund.com/faq



MEDC – Michigan Small Business Relief Program

Applications are now closed for West Michigan. 

The Right Place – Michigan Small Business Relief Grant 

Applications are now CLOSED


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