16 Bay City businesses receive state grants to stay open; another 4 turn to crowdfunding for help

It’s the small business community that contributes to a town’s identity, a mix of entrepreneurs unique to a particular city, a group made up of individual restauranteurs, retailers, and more.

And it’s a group that’s been particularly affected by the COVID-19 health crisis. Small businesses tend to have less available cash to fall back on than their corporate neighbors.

It’s a story that’s being told all over the state, country, and beyond.

Here in Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has developed a number of programs designed to keep our small businesses open during and after this public health crisis.

Two of those programs, the Match on Main COVID-19 Response and the MI Local Biz programs, have recently been announced to directly benefit several local businesses.

The economic development group Bay Future, Inc., has secured $50,000 in grants through the Match on Main program, with 16 downtown Bay City businesses announced as its recipients.

Businesses to receive grant money include:

"Match on Main will provide funding to small businesses in Bay City that make our community unique and create the vibrant downtown that both our residents and visitors enjoy," says Bay City City Manager, Dana Muscott.

"We’re hopeful that these funds will give businesses the boost they need as they begin reopening and operating in the COVID-19 recovery."

In addition to the 16 businesses receiving Match on Main grant money, another four Bay City businesses have been entered into the MI Local Biz program.

This latter group requires a little extra help from the community, however.

The MI Local Biz program is an offshoot of the MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places placemaking initiative. Rather than help raise funds for projects like pocket parks and community centers, however, the MI Local Biz program helps small businesses raise money to stay open.

Through the program, businesses set a crowdfunding goal via the Michigan-based Patronicity platform. Should they reach that goal, the MEDC than contributes a matching grant.

Bay City businesses currently participating in the MI Local Biz program are Base Camp Fitness, Bay City Boat Lines, Bemo’s Bar, and Regent Floral & Mercantile, each of which have campaigns online.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.