CDFI Fund grant will help Michigan small businesses

U.S. Treasury Awards more than $1.73 Billion, including $3.43 Million to Michigan organizations

Funding will help with effects of pandemic

Fifteen Michigan organizations, including Northern Initiatives, are receiving $34.3 million in federal funding to support lending in low- and moderate-income markets that are still recovering from the pandemic.

The nearly $2.5 million that Northern Initiatives received will go to support small businesses and entrepreneurs hit the hardest by the pandemic, President Elissa Sangalli told MiBiz.

Northern Initiatives will focus on lending to entrepreneurs of color “because we know those populations were the most hurt during COVID in terms of both the health crisis, but also the lack of access to capital,” Sangalli said.

The goal is to “help small businesses start and grow,” Sangalli said.

“We know that small businesses are the greatest job creators in their communities and across the state, and so we really want to help them launch and grow,” she said.

Northern Initiatives also will use the new federal funding to support small businesses that shifted their business models during the pandemic, Sangalli said. As an example, she cites restaurants that added takeout or transitioned to a to-go model in response to pandemic-related safety measures.

“We know that there are a lot of businesses that have really rethought their model, whether that’s shifting their hours, or whether that’s … a sit-down enterprise that has switched to more of a to-go model, or maybe they opened back up and they’re hosting inside dining and they discovered they can add a to-go line to their business,” Sangalli said. “We want to help entrepreneurs make those changes and provide them with the working capital they need to do that, or to help them purchase the equipment and technologies that would make those kinds of business models easier.”

Click here to read the story in MiBiz.

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