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Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel announced Thursday a plan to distribute $20 million in small business sustainability grants using federal CARES Act funding.

Macomb County Planning and Economic Development will lead the grant program, which will benefit businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“The business community in Macomb County has helped us respond to this public health crisis in so many ways,” Hackel said. "Our small business sustainability grant will aid us in reacting to the economic crisis we now face. Our objective is to inject much needed resources into our economy by supporting local companies." 

The grants are part of the Macomb County CARES for Small Business Program, a $70 million initiative made possible through the county’s $152 million allocation of federal CARES Act funding. The program includes PPE kit distribution, grants and a variety of efforts to prepare organizations for safe opening operations and emergency preparedness. 

The application process for $5,000 grants opened Thursday. The county development agency anticipates the funding will provide direct relief to 4,000 businesses. 

“This type of funding may not cover all of the losses our businesses have incurred, but it will have a definite impact,” said Vicky Rad, the agency's director. “Our grant can help them pay employees, cover rent and utilities, and purchase supplies and materials that are essential for operating. Our goal is to aid in recovery in any way we can.”

The grant application will be available at www.MacombBusiness.com through 11:59 p.m. June 24. Small businesses can apply for funds if they meet the following criteria:

· Must be a for-profit organization in Macomb County (office/building/store front) with less than 50 employees. Must have a valid Employer Identification Number (EIN) and have been in business for at least 12 months.

· Business must showcase a verifiable need for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses and/or other similar costs that occur in the ordinary course of business.

· Business must be able to verify they have been negatively impacted or experienced a loss in revenue or business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information, including additional requirements, can be found at www.macombbusiness.com.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

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