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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that it is accepting applications for its new Community Navigator Pilot Program. This new initiative, established by the American Rescue Plan, will leverage a community navigator approach to reach our nation’s smallest businesses, with a priority focus on those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, as well as women and veterans. SBA will accept applications through July 12, 2021, and anticipates making award decisions by August 2021.

Competitive grant awards will range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period. Applicants have until July 12, 2021, to submit their applications at grants.gov. Performance periods are projected to commence in September 2021. Those eligible to apply must meet and demonstrate abilities to support the requirements of this funding opportunity.

For more information on the Pilot Program visit the SBA's page.

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced today further details of tax credits available under the American Rescue Plan to help small businesses, including providing paid leave for employees receiving COVID-19 vaccinations.

Eligible employers, such as businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees and certain governmental employers, can receive a tax credit for providing paid time off for each employee receiving the vaccine and for any time needed to recover from the vaccine. For example, if an eligible employer offers employees a paid day off in order to get vaccinated, the employer can receive a tax credit equal to the wages paid to employees for that day (up to certain limits).

The additional details, provided in a fact sheet released today by the IRS (and available in English and Spanish), spell out some basic facts about the employers eligible for the tax credits. It also provides information on how these employers may claim the credit for leave paid to employees related to COVID-19 vaccinations.

For more details on how the paid leave tax credits from the American Rescue Plan will work for employers to enable employees to get vaccinated and recover from after-effects of vaccination, as well as for other purposes, see the snapshot also released today by Treasury.

The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

Eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss include:

  • Restaurants
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products

Round 2 of the Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loan

The $900 billion Stimulus Relief Bill contains $284 billion for a second round of loans to small businesses under the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program.

The program helps businesses harmed by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yes! businesses can receive a second loan called a second draw if they have spent the entire amount of the first loan on or before the date the second loan is disbursed.

The loans will be made through SBA‑approved lenders and guaranteed by the SBA. So businesses must apply to those lenders by filling out the application forms provided by the bank. It’s a good idea for applicants to check first with banks they already have relationships with to see if they will be making PPP loans.

Click the links for more information about the program.

https://www.peters.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Small%20Businesses%20-%20COVID%20Relief.pdf

https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program Reopened to All Eligible Small Businesses and Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic

To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 on Monday, June 15.

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New capacity limit guidelines for retailers and bar & restaurant owners can be found in Executive Order 2020-97.

  • If your business is within the City of Mt. Pleasant, and you need assistance determining your standard approved occupancy numbers, contact City Building Official Brian Kench at (989) 779-5301 OR at bkench@mt-pleasant.org.
  • In addition to new capacity limits, business owners must post signs at store entrance(s) instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering when inside the store, and informing customers not to enter if they are or have recently been sick.
Michigan’s Work Share program allows employers to restart their business and bring employees back from unemployment. Employers can bring employees back with reduced hours - while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up a portion of the lost wages. Employers can also retain their current workforce and are given the flexibility to choose which of their employees are part of a Work Share plan.
In an effort to help reopening businesses safely reengage in the economy, the MI Symptoms Web Application is a cost-free way for employers to comply with Executive Order 2020-97 and implement a COVID-19 symptoms screening questionnaire for employees.

PMBC Offering Free Procurement Program to Assist Businesses in Accessing Personal Protection Equipment

The Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) program through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has developed a portal specifically designed to support the personal protective equipment (PPE) needs of Michigan businesses as they start the process of re-opening.

Through the free PMBC COVID-19 Procurement Platform, the PMBC team will work to connect those businesses in need of access to PPE – including face masks, face shields, gloves, goggles and other materials as necessary to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers – with Michigan businesses that have supplier capacity to meet that demand. Open to companies of all sizes and industries, and is available for all scales of PPE demand.

MI Safe Start: A Plan to Re-Engage Michigan's Economy

The phases of the pandemic include:

  1. Uncontrolled Growth: Increasing number of new cases every day, likely to overwhelm the health system. Only critical infrastructure remains open.
  2. Persistent Spread: Continue to see high case levels with concern about health system capacity. Only critical infrastructure remains open, with lower-risk recreational activities allowed.
  3. Flattening: Epidemic is no longer increasing and health system capacity is sufficient for current needs. Specified lower-risk businesses can reopen given adherence to strict safety measures.
  4. Improving: Epidemic clearly decreasing and health system capacity is strong with robust testing and contact tracing. Additional businesses can reopen given adherence to strict safety measures.
  5. Containing: Epidemic levels are extremely low and outbreaks can be quickly contained. Health system capacity is strong with robust testing and tracing. Most businesses can reopen given adherence to strict safety measures.
  6. Post-Pandemic: Community spread is not expected to return (e.g., because of a vaccine) and the economy is fully reopened.

Small Business Paycheck Protection Program

  • Link to Michigan Paycheck Protection Program (MiPPP)
  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) from the U.S. Small Business Administration provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
    • Fully Forgiven | Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
    • Must Keep Employees on the Payroll - or Rehire Quickly | Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.
    • All Small Businesses Eligible | Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietors, and independent contractors— are eligible.
    • How to Apply | You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating.

Consumers Energy Committed to Helping Michigan’s Small Business Community Prosper

  • Consumers Energy can provide meaningful and immediate help by:
    • Working with you on your utility bill
    • Connecting you to potential sources of state and federal relief
    • Providing new business opportunities through the Pure Michigan Business Connect Program
To aid in the evaluation of the economic impact of the current situation, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce is strongly encouraging participation in an online survey. This survey will be useful by increasing legislature awareness of hardship on YOUR business. The information gathered will be passed onto lawmakers. This survey can be found HERE. Please encourage other business owners to fill it out as well.
For BCBS members, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan has provided the following Group Customer COVID-19 FAQ as part of initiatives designed to help members get the care they need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The FAQ can be accessed HERE.

Chamber Updates, Ways to Support Local & More

Hello Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Members!

 

 

The Chamber will honor reservations and paid sponsor promotion benefits on the affected dates. Contact us with questions. Future events will be evaluated based on the recommendations of MDHHS.

 

Ways to Support Local
Many small and local businesses have very low profit margins and this temporary change may harshly impact them. Many businesses will be happy to accommodate a customer if there is any way possible to avoid loss of profit, so please call them to ask what options are available. If none are available, support them on social media by interacting with their pages, by liking and sharing their posts.

 

The money you save from the imposing of these restrictions can still be used for local business to regain economic loss once the restriction has been lifted.
SPEND if you can, SAVE if you can’t, SHOP later! Keep our local economy going as much as possible.

 

We are happy to promote through social media promotions that you may have going on despite the situation. If you are still open and able to provide your service, please let us know and we can share the information.
To support your fellow Chamber members, please view our online business directory HERE.

For updates on local events, COVID-19 and economic legislation:
Michigan Chamber of Commerce www.michamber.com
State of Michigan www.michigan.gov
Center for Disease Control www.cdc.gov
City of Mt. Pleasant www.mt-pleasant.org
Please follow all proactive state and county health officials’ recommendations in order to decrease the spread of this virus.
Most importantly, remember that the current situation is temporary. Stay positive and find some joys in each day as much as possible. Every storm runs out of rain eventually and we will all get through this! Spring is HERE to be followed by SUMMER so we still have good things to look forward to.
Best to you all and please let us know if we can help with anything,

 

Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce Staff

989-772-2396

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