Duggan Announces Expansion of COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility, More Funding on Tap For Small Businesses

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced that a wider group of eligible Detroiters can receive the COVID-19 vaccine now at the TCF Center during a press conference today at Detroit Public Safety headquarters. 

This comes on the heels of when the TCF Center’s parking garage opened up Wednesday for some residents to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. Appointments can now be made for COVID-19 vaccinations for the following Detroit residents:

• Any Detroit resident 75 and older

• Any “good neighbor” 65 and older who drives a 75-year-old to TCF

• The following Group B essential workers: K-12 teachers and support staff and child care workers

To schedule appointments call 313-230-0505 Monday-Friday from 9 am until 8 pm.

“We’re going to keep going until we book 20,000 appointments through Friday, February 5,” Duggan said, adding that Detroit responded to COVID-19 with national leadership and the vaccine is a continuation of that. “We continue to be today certainly far lower on the infection rate … we are going to continue to lead the way on appointments. We are very surely going to be national leaders in vaccinations.”

Duggan added that there were 42 Rock Connection operators and that number was bumped up to 76.

Also, if people call in and the wait time to talk to a representative is 30 minutes, the call will be dropped so try back again. 

Duggan also encourages people who do not qualify for the shot to not call and tie up the lines to find out where else to get the shot, which has been happening.

“I understand the concerns, but the folks on the phones only have one job to book the 75-year-olds in the city of Detroit into appointments,” Duggan said.

He added that until these vaccinations take effect “we have to keep our small businesses going.”

Kevin Johnson, president, and chief executive officer for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation [DEGC], said during the press conference that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stimulus package was recently signed into law allowing the city to receive $4 million for Detroit businesses.

Those eligible are businesses that have between one and 100 employees that demonstrate a loss as a result of the mask and gatherings order [are eligible to apply for up to $20,000 if they have been temporarily closed]. Others who partially closed down could be eligible for $15,000. The grant may be used for payroll expenses, rent/mortgage payments, utility expenses, and business-related costs.

The applications will open 9 a.m. Tuesday, January 19 – noon Friday, January 27.

To apply visit 

Degc.org or detroitmeansbusiness.org.

“Over the last few months this will bring our grant dollars to $15 million that we’re able to put out in the market place to support Detroit small businesses,” Johnson said, adding that $11 million was already distributed in grant funding to over 1,700 Detroit small businesses with more than two-thirds of those businesses being minority-owned.

“Additional funds like this vital to the survival of the small business community,” Johnson said.

The mayor agreed.

“We want you to get those applications in next week so we can keep our businesses going,” Duggan said.

Also during the press conference, Director of Arts and Culture Rochelle Riley announced that Kresge Arts in Detroit donated $176,000 in operating support funds to support Detroit ACE [Arts, Culture & Entrepreneurship] programming. 

The year-long partnership kicks off in February during Black History Month while highlighting how the pandemic has impacted children through artistic projects, monthly showcases, and more.

For more information and the full programming visit http://www.kresgeartsindetroit.org/ or call Riley at 313.720.1016.

Visit the City of Detroit Government Facebook page to view the press conference. http://www.facebook.com/CityOfDetroit. 


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