Lt. gov. talks pandemic recovery with GR small business owners

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In their continuing effort to jump-start Michigan’s economy, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her lieutenant governor have been traveling the state talking about ways the state can help businesses — particularly small businesses.

At Grand Rapids’ Downtown Market Monday, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist participated in the first of a series of Regional Small Business Summits.

The idea behind the meeting was to bring together a number of stakeholders to talk about potential state help like grants or loans that can help businesses get back on their feet as the economy emerges from well over a year of COVID-19 pressures. There is a lot of money available from both the state and federal governments, particularly for small businesses. Gilchrist said he hopes the meetings will show entrepreneurs how to access the resources.

“We need to be  intentional We need to be clear that Michigan’s programs are going to be designed differently with the expressed intention to reach the smallest businesses in our communities,” Gilchrist said. “One of the gaps in the federal funding that was provided in COVID response before was that it missed those businesses, just like it missed starter businesses and other types, and those resources weren’t available to them. So by this conversation today, we’re going to get the intelligence from the ground, from the businesses owners themselves, about what it takes to design a program that will actually meet their needs.”

The head of Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity was also on hand to talk to local small businesses, lenders and elected officials about ways to get Michigan’s economy up to full speed sooner rather than later.

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