Twelve Lansing area small businesses are leaping to higher ground thanks to relief loans from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Michigan Small Business Relief Program (MSBRP), established by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer following the onset of the novel coronavirus crisis (COVID-19). Facilitated by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) on behalf of the Lansing region, MSBRP grants and loans have provided small businesses across Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties (Lansing tri-county region) with a total of $1.2 million in relief dollars since the programs were approved in late March 2020. The program offers fast and critical relief to many local small businesses, increasing the likelihood of a faster and fuller economic recovery and saving businesses and jobs in communities across the Lansing tri-county region. The MSBRP loans will provide each of the 12 approved small businesses with $50,000 loans at a 0.25 percent interest rate with no collateral required.
Bob Trezise, LEAP president and CEO, acknowledged the incredible partnerships that have contributed to help LEAP reach local small businesses with these desperately needed funds, saying, “LEAP thanks the MEDC and Governor Whitmer, but we also want to thank and acknowledge the massive efforts of Capital Area Michigan Works! and the Capital Region Small Business Development Center, along with many volunteers within the business community, who have given their time and expertise to ensure a fair, objective and smooth selection process.”
When the MSBRP was announced in March, LEAP acted swiftly to gain access to the funds and was subsequently selected by the MEDC to administer and award $600,000 in grant funds to smallbusinesses across the Lansing tri-county region, working quickly to distribute the funds in early April 2020. The MEDC then asked LEAP to follow a similar process and timeline to accept MSBRP loan applications, with an expected total loan amount of $600,000 for distribution across Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties.
“LEAP has been working tirelessly to locate and distribute desperately needed relief to local small-business owners across our three county region—so many who are on the brink of losing their livelihoods and who are responsible for the livelihoods of others,” said Trezise. “While we know there is not nearly enough to meet the need, these loan funds will help small-business owners continue to operate during and rise back up after this crisis diminishes.”
In order to apply for a MSBRP loan, small businesses were required to be based and founded in Clinton, Eaton or Ingham county with fewer than 100 employees (full or part time) and meet additional criteria established by the MEDC and LEAP. Complete eligibility requirements, loan details, application scoring criteria, a description of the review process and FAQ continue to be available on LEAP’s website at www.purelansing.com/businessrelief
LEAP reviewed 208 eligible loan applications with a combined total request of $16,939,322, using a regional review process which included multiple reviewers and review criteria designed to reduce bias and maintain objectivity. As with the MSBRP grants, regional distribution throughout the three counties was a factor. Following this rigorous review process, 20 loan applications were advanced to the MEDC for consideration and 12 were approved and funded by the MEDC.
In addition to what has already been distributed to regional small businesses, LEAP has been working with local municipalities to develop micro programs for localized application, using the model and framework LEAP developed for the MSBRP grants and loans. In total, the LEAP effort to provide small-business relief funds is expected to infuse $1.75 – $2 million into the local economy for smallbusinesses across the Lansing tri-county region, with 100% of funds going directly to local smallbusinesses.
Lansing Region MSBRP Approved Loans
Flap Jack of Dewitt, Mich.
Kids Zone Daycare
Capital City Entertainment LLC
Zoe Life Spa and Salon
A&M Supreme Auto Repair Inc.
Ahptic Productions LLC
Cradles to Crayons Child Care LLC
Doerr Real Estate & Management Inc.
Events To Rent Inc.
The New Daily Bagel
Wild Strawberry Flowers & More LLC
The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all–working every day to grow, retain and attract business to the Lansing, Michigan, region.