There’s no doubt that small businesses are being hit hard in the current COVID-19 crisis. The Michigan Chronicle’s COVID-19 Small Business Toolkit is a road map that helps businesses steer through today’s uncharted territory. This toolkit provides tips and advice on planning for a range of contingencies, as well as guidance on issues especially critical to entrepreneurs, such as:

• Actions to Take in the Next 90 Days to Save A Business

• How to Hit the Ground Running After the Pandemic

• Surviving an economic downturn

• Small Business Loans: Federal, State and Local

Check out the resources below.

Local Resources

  • Restaurants can support Detroit police, fire, EMS and healthcare workers by suppling meals while getting paid through the Feed the Frontlines program.
  • Detroit at Work has created a portal to connect temporary or long-term jobseekers with businesses that are hiring for temporary or long term team members. Businesses looking for employees can fill out this form.
  • Businesses interested in supporting FEMA’s response to COVID-19 may be eligible to join the Industry Liaison Program.
  • Local news outlets are promoting businesses that remain open- submit your information to both FOX 2 and WXYZ to be featured.
  • New websites including Tip Detroit and Detroit Food Updates have been created to inform the public how they can support their local favorites. If applicable, make sure to update your information on these sites.
  • The City of Detroit is offering free support to enable restaurants and cafés to transition to curbside pickup. Detroit restaurants can sign up to turn metered parking spaces in front of their buildings into free curbside pickup zones.
  • The City is also partnering with Forgotten Harvest to rescue and distribute excess food that meets these criteria to those experiencing food insecurity, in exchange for a tax deduction. Restaurants call fill out this form to participate.
  • Carryout and delivery veteran Ali Beydoun of Sicily’s Pizza at 3554 Vernor Highway is personally offering restaurants assistance in learning the ropes of carryout and food delivery at (313) 554-0755.
  • Governor Whitmer signed an executive order on March 16, 2020 that expands unemployment benefits. Plain English descriptions of the changes made by the order can be found here. A fact sheet about claiming unemployment benefits can be found here.

Federal/Private Resources

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has created a full list of programs and assistance available to small businesses. You can see that list here.
  • Facebook has launched a grant program for small businesses. You can read about it here. In addition to a grant program, Facebook also has a list of resources which you can access here.
  • Amazon has created a Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund for businesses affected by COVID-19 in the Seattle area. The company pledged $5 million for the fund.
  • Intuit QuickBooks is providing a long list of small businesses plans and resources to tap into during the crisis, including financial preparedness information, safe travel tips and workplace prevention tips.
  • Yelp is providing $25 million in funding relief to small businesses, particularly restaurants and nightlife businesses, affected by COVID-19. This includes free access to page upgrades. You can find more information about how to qualify for aid here.
  • The National Federation of Independent Businesses, a small business special interest group, is offering legal resources and webinars related to the virus.
  • If you run a restaurant or restaurant group, the Restaurant Worker’s Community Foundation has information related to grants, financial programs and other resources for restaurants affected by COVID-19. This includes immigrant-specific concerns, USBG relief grants and a COVID-19 relief fund sponsored by the organization.
  • USA Today has created a centralized location for small businesses to list their companies and encourage customers to purchase gift card for use later. You can visit the site here.
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