New grant opportunity available for Port Huron-based small businesses

What’s happening: The Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County has announced a new grant opportunity for Port Huron-based small businesses. The application window for the Emerge Fund - Port Huron officially opened on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

What it is: Not to be confused with the Emerge Fund itself, which applies to small businesses throughout St. Clair County, the Emerge Fund - Port Huron grant is reserved specifically for those businesses with a Port Huron address. The grants are available for amounts up to $5,000 and are intended for “entrepreneurs, early-stage startups and existing small businesses looking to expand in the City of Port Huron,” according to the EDA.

How it works: The grants are available in amounts up to and including $5,000 and can be used for creating business plans, website development, filing patents, marketing, purchasing equipment, legal and accounting services, and more. Technology businesses are prioritized for the grants, although all businesses will be considered.

Visit The Underground online to apply.

Kanchan Wankhede, Director of Entrepreneurial Services at The Underground.Why it’s important: “Funding resources is one of the top requests we get from aspiring and existing entrepreneurs. Sometimes, a small amount of financial support is exactly what it takes to help get an entrepreneur to launch a new business, or to overcome a hurdle to their next stage of growth,” says Kanchan Wankhede, Director of Entrepreneurial Services at The Underground. “I look forward to working with grant applicants, and to further strengthening the entrepreneurial success and growth in the City of Port Huron.”

Who’s behind it: The new Emerge Fund - Port Huron grant program is a partnership between the EDA and The Underground, a small business incubator in downtown Port Huron. The grants are made possible from funds the EDA received from the City of Port Huron, which itself received the funds from the American Rescue Plan.

“Our intent is to leverage the Emerge Fund – Port Huron to help launch the next generation of businesses in the city,” says Dan Casey, CEO of EDA.  “We have good programs, available space in the incubator, and the counselors that know the steps that lead to successful startup ventures.”

But that’s not all: The EDA also has plans to launch several more small business assistance programs thanks to the American Rescue Plan. These include a pre-seed fund to assist startups with funding specific needs; talent attraction grants; a rent subsidy program for businesses looking to locate in downtown Port Huron; and marketing.

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