LANSING, Mich. — On Tuesday, May 19, the Township Board approved the Meridian Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) Small Business Relief Grant Program to assist local small businesses affected by COVID-19.
“Meridian Township is a community of people who care about and help each other in times of need. The Township Board hopes that these grant funds will help keep small businesses employing people and serving our residents, as they face the economic challenges created by the current public health crisis,” said Ron Styka, Meridian Township Supervisor. “It’s the small businesses of Meridian that help make it the walkable prime community that our residents enjoy and helped Meridian earn recognition as the number one place to live in Michigan.”
The Meridian EDC and Township Board have allocated $180,000 for 45 grants of $4,000 each. The grant program funding comes exclusively from two sources, which includes $130,000 from the Meridian Redevelopment Fund and $50,000 from the Meridian EDC’s own funding, which is generated in part from the EDC’s service as a bond fiduciary. No Township General Fund monies are being used to support this program.
“The residents and businesspeople of Meridian Township love being part of this community. Our Township Board has taken their input and enacted policies aimed at placemaking and at creating a business-friendly environment. We’ve seen fantastic new businesses and business expansions over the past few years,” said Jade Sims, Meridian EDC Chair. “Our EDC wants to protect the welcoming environment our business community fosters with the hopes of building upon past gains when this crisis subsides. We believe this assistance can do that. What we don’t want is to erase what we’ve built and have to start from scratch.”
The application period of the grant program begins May 20, 2020 and ends at 5 p.m. on May 23, 2020. Grants are anticipated to be awarded on May 29, 2020, with funds distributed by June 2, 2020. A six-person review committee will be responsible for grant application review and scoring. The committee will then recommend the top 45 grant finalists for the Meridian EDC’s final approval.
Meridian Township small businesses that were denied a grant from the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, as administered by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), can use the same application previously submitted for the LEAP grant program to apply to the Meridian EDC’s Small Business Relief Grant Program. Businesses will still need to meet the eligibility requirements of the Meridian EDC grant program, which differ from the LEAP grant program.
More information about the Small Business Relief Grant Program including business eligibility, frequently asked questions and application are available on the township website.
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