Lake Trust Credit Union

Have a favorite local small business? Here’s how to help it bounce back

A community-first financial institution is helping Michigan companies recover amid the pandemic.

Lake Trust Credit Union
Grove Studios, a Ypsilanti-based recording studio, is one of the many businesses participating in the Great Lakes Giveback Campaign.

Did you know that for every dollar you spend at a small business, 67 cents stays in the local community? Small companies account for more than 60% of new jobs created in the U.S., and in addition to these establishments directly employing members of the community, local spending by the businesses and their workers supports the area even further, making these companies economic powerhouses.

As residents seek to restart the state’s economy amid the pandemic, Lake Trust Credit Union — a community-focused financial institution that serves nearly 200,000 individual members and businesses across Michigan — has introduced a new way that you can personally support small businesses in your neighborhood.

While helping business owners navigate the federal Payroll Protection Program, Lake Trust found that even though the loans were much-needed stimulants for many owners, the financial burden of the crisis was still too great. The credit union wanted to do more to help these vital neighborhood staples. Hence, the Great Lakes Giveback Campaign was born.

The Great Lakes Giveback Campaign is a crowdfunding initiative focused on supporting Michigan small businesses with 25 or fewer employees. By visiting, clicking “Great Lakes Giveback” and scrolling down to “Projects,” patrons can directly participate in providing financial assistance to dozens of local establishments.

Funds will be used by recipients to finance business expenses. In some cases, that means helping these companies keep the lights on and adapt to new social distancing regulations while ensuring their customers and employees stay healthy and safe. The program was designed to support 75 small businesses, with Lake Trust matching every dollar raised, up to $1,000 per business.

To date, the COVID-19 pandemic has rendered 31% of small businesses in the United States nonoperational. In Michigan, 60% of businesses have had to lay off at least one employee. Lake Trust Credit Union wants to help ensure that the critical small businesses that drive the state’s communities remain stable and viable. Now more than ever, supporting small businesses throughout Michigan is vital to keeping local communities strong.

“Lake Trust is focused on being an engine of economic well-being, and that includes promoting the financial health and stability of the communities we serve,” said Lake Trust CEO David Snodgrass. “Small businesses are central to Michigan’s economy, and the Great Lakes Giveback offers a platform to provide direct support to small enterprises and engage their customers, neighbors and fans.”

Anyone can participate in this purposeful and worthwhile initiative. Michiganders are encouraged to contribute what they can to one or multiple crowdfunding campaigns in order to help their favorite local establishments thrive. Matching funds by Lake Trust will be granted through July 31.

From a child care center in Meridian Charter Township to a soul food restaurant and bakery in Muskegon to a yoga studio in Chelsea to a banquet hall in Wyandotte, a wide variety of small businesses throughout the state are part of — and have been helped by — the Great Lakes Giveback Campaign.

Think about your favorite local restaurant, coffee shop, hardware store, art gallery, sports club or boutique. These places are the fabric of Michigan’s community, identity and economy, and they’re also the businesses that have, in many cases, endured the most significant financial hardships as a result of the crisis. While the convenience of online shopping has been underscored by the pandemic, everyone can be more of a localist and support the small businesses in their own backyard.

To help restart the Michigan economy and donate directly to a small business near you, visit, click “Great Lakes Giveback” and scroll down to “Projects,” or follow Lake Trust Credit Union on Facebook.