A new grant program in Sterling Heights was announced last week, aimed at helping micro-businesses survive COVID-19 hurdles. The Microenterprise Assistance Grant Program provides CARES Act CDBG-CV grants to small businesses with five employees or less.
The grants are to assist business’ preparation, prevention, and responses to COVID-19, and applications will be accepted starting on Sept. 1.
“This program will provide much needed help to many of our city’s smallest businesses as they deal with the additional, unexpected obligations they are facing due to the Coronavirus,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor.
“Businesses of this size tend to be more quickly and significantly impacted by unexpected financial responsibilities, such as those required to implement Coronavirus safety protocols. But, they are a vital part of our economy. So, it’s critical to our community that they get the help they need to see themselves through these challenging times.”
Activities that the funds can be used for include purchasing materials or equipment needed to adapt business spaces to comply with CDC and social distancing guidelines, purchasing of safety supplies for employees, and general financial assistance for business stabilization due COVID-19 related revenue shortfalls, such as rent, mortgage payments and utilities.
In addition to other eligibility requirements for the program, applicants must have a Dun & Bradstreet Number (DUNS) and be registered with the Federal System for Award Management (SAMS). Business owners in need of assistance with a SAMS registration can attend a free webinar on Aug. 18 through the city and more application information can be found on the city's website
“Small businesses are the backbone of Sterling Heights,” said City Manager Mark Vanderpool.
“We’ve heard from many of our small business owners that are struggling right now, so we listened and put together this program to help during these unprecedented times.”