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GV Now

Business center at GVSU helping small businesses affected by COVID-19 with low-interest loans

  • Photo of downtown Grand Rapids.

Posted on March 24, 2020

The Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC), housed in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University, is taking the lead in providing support to small businesses across the state that are being affected by COVID-19.

The SBDC joined the Small Business Association to assist Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in putting together the initial economic declaration package that would allow Michigan's small businesses to receive funds. 

"The Michigan SBDC is here to help small businesses dealing with distresses caused by COVID-19," said J.D. Collins, SBDC state director. "Through strong collaboration, we can overcome the immediate obstacles facing Michigan's small business community."  

Collins said the Michigan SBDC collected data from all 83 counties to assess how businesses were being affected. "We heard some heartbreaking stories," he said. "In times of crisis, we are a helping hand. We are helping to alleviate some of the fear." 

The Michigan SBDC was asked to support two relief programs: Economic Injury Disaster Loans, a federal program that provides loans of up to $2 million for small businesses; and a state program to support businesses affected by temporary restrictions on the use of places of public accommodation. 

Collins said funds for Economic Injury Disaster Loans come directly from the U.S. Treasury. Applicants do not go through a bank to apply, instead they apply directly to the Disaster Assistance Program.

"We can help companies prepare the application and help determine whether the loan is right for their business," Collins explained. "We have also extended our capacity for remote consulting."

The SBDC has set up a COVID-19 page with small business support options, and a Disaster Loan Help page.

To access a webinar series on current topics — managing cash flow in a time of crisis, marketing, human resource issues in a time of crisis — visit sbdcmichigan.org/small-business-covid19/.