More grant funding available for small businesses in Lansing

LEDC approves new ‘Rescue Fund’ for struggling brick-and-mortar shops


(This story was updated with additional details at 1:20 p.m.)

THURSDAY, April 9 — An additional $400,000 in grant funding will be made available for small businesses in Lansing that are closed or struggling to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And Mayor Andy Schor is labeling it as the “Small Business Recovery Program.” 

“Small businesses throughout the city of Lansing need our support now, more than ever,” Schor said in a press release sent today. “Businesses especially need these grant dollars now to survive and help ensure they can keep open or reopen their doors when this pandemic ends.”

The Lansing Economic Development Corp. approved a $400,000 “Rescue Fund” today with plans to dole out several $5,000 and $10,000 grants to businesses in Lansing with fewer than 25 employees and less than $1.5 million in annual revenue, among several other requirements.

Eligible businesses must show income loss specifically related to COVID-19 and demonstrate a need for working capital. Businesses must not have been previously awarded a small business relief grant through LEAP and must be up to date on property and income taxes to the city.

Applications will be accepted from April 13-16 with recipients announced April 27. The cash is to be used exclusively for immediate and near-term working capital expenditures like payroll expenses essential to business viability, mortgage payments and utility expenses, officials said. 

“It’s really meant for emergency working capital for those businesses directly and severely impacted by COVID-19,” explained Kris Klein, Lansing Economic Area Partnership specialist.

The 60 regional businesses already awarded grant funding through LEAP through the Michigan Small Business Relief program are not eligible to apply. And unlike those grants, the rescue fund cash will be distributed exclusively to businesses headquartered in the capital city.

Klein said the concept is to provide two or three months of working capital for businesses. Most applicants will receive $10,000 but a limited number of $5,000 grants could be made available for “micro-businesses” across the city that might require less money to survive.

Businesses with brick-and-mortar Lansing locations that can demonstrate a financial loss from COVID-19 are preferred. Sole proprietorships, home-based businesses and nonprofits are not eligible for the grants. Officials will also examine the “uniqueness” of the business’ services.

Officials said about $200,000 of the grant funding will come from unobligated LEDC funds and another $200,000 will come from the LEDC’s business loan program, though the board has no expectations that the grant funding will ever actually be repaid back into that fund.

The upcoming grants follow a series of $10,000 grants that were also sent out to 60 businesses across Greater Lansing last week. At least 1,875 businesses applied, an indicator that local businesses continue to need support during the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

Visit for more details and to access applications when they become available.


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