Comerica Bank to Support $1.5 Million Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund Helping Small Businesses Recover, Pivot in Response to COVID-19

May 13, 2020 4:45 PM ET
Press Release

DETROIT, May 13, 2020 /3BL Media/ – Comerica Bank has teamed up with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Women Forward to support the creation of the $1.5 million Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund formed to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 recover from the outbreak, as well as help them meet increased demands in support of COVID-19 response efforts.

“The stability and growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs significantly contribute to the economic vitality of our communities, as they provide important employment opportunities and deliver valuable goods and services,” said Mike Ritchie, Comerica Bank Michigan market president. “Supporting these businesses as they fight to survive will have a long-term impact on their success and on our cities and state. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Women Forward have proven critical in providing exceptional support to businesses, and we believe partnering in the Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund will help deliver vital resources to businesses for survival and recovery.”

The $1.5 million Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund helps small businesses from geographically disadvantaged areas survive the outbreak through recovery efforts.

“As Michigan begins to focus on economic recovery efforts across the state, it is critical that we make sure support and relief are accessible for all entrepreneurs and small businesses in need,” said LeTasha Peebles, grant manager for the MEDC. “We’re grateful for the partnership of Michigan Women Forward in supporting this fund, which will play a key role in ensuring every member of our state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has the tools and support they need to recover from this crisis.”

The Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund will provide recovery grants of $1,000-$5,000 and microloans of $5,000-$10,000 to small businesses who are in need and have been adversely affected by COVID-19 closures, with at least 150 businesses statewide expected to benefit. Small businesses interested in applying for support through the Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund can do so now by visiting miwf.org/mwf-entrepreneur-resilience-fund.

“This fund will be vital in helping small businesses throughout Michigan keep their doors open and their workers paid, while offering much-needed economic support during this unprecedented outbreak,” said Maggie McCammon, portfolio manager for the MEDC. “Michigan Women Forward has a demonstrated track record of successfully providing holistic support for small businesses across the state and MEDC looks forward to working together with them and the other supporting partners as our state moves toward recovery.”

“At Michigan Woman Forward, we are dedicating ourselves to doing everything we possibly can to help Michigan’s small businesses re-open and recover from this crisis,” said Carolyn Cassin, president and CEO, MWF. “Funding is just the beginning. We will also pair our entrepreneurs with experts to help answer questions and guide their decision making at this critical time.”

Funds awarded through the program can be used to support small businesses in managing expenses through the recovery phase, including rent, payroll, and inventory. The fund can also advance business growth by providing working capital to assist with increased product or service demand in response to COVID-19, to allow a company to revamp their business virtually through a strengthened online presence, or to start up a company to meet a new demand as a result of COVID-19.

The $1.5 million fund includes support of $500,000 from MEDC and $500,000 from Michigan Women Forward’s SBA microlending funds, along with partners including Consumers Energy Foundation, the New Economy Initiative, General Motors Corporation, Fifth Third Bank and Comerica Bank. Michigan Women Forward is also working with other potential funding partners to provide additional opportunities for grants and loans through the Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund.

Applicants will be evaluated on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. Eligible candidates will be prioritized based on demonstrated need, including, but not limited to:

  • Being located in a disadvantaged area within a U.S. Small Business Administration designated HubZone or Opportunity Zone;
  • Demonstrating status as a low- to moderate-income borrower;
  • And qualifying as a diverse business that can demonstrate ownership by underrepresented groups including, but not limited to, veterans, minorities and low-income men and women.

Other resources for businesses across Michigan to assist them in recovering from economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19. This site includes resources offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Pure Michigan Business Connect procurement platform, support services offered through the Small Business Development Center and more. The MEDC has also developed a FAQ for Michigan businesses and communities at michiganbusiness.org/covid19-faq.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus  and CDC.gov/Coronavirus .

For those who have questions about the state’s actions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136 between 8AM – 5PM daily.

About Michigan Women Forward

In 1986, 20 extraordinary visionaries conceived of an organization that would encourage women to play an active role in philanthropy and governance. Today, MWF focuses on these primary pillars: Accelerating Women’s Entrepreneurship, Developing the Next Generation of Young Women Leaders, Sharing Women’s History and Leading the State’s Women’s Agenda, which includes the Enough SAID campaign to end the backlog of untested rape kits in Detroit. MWF also operates the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame Center in Lansing. For more information, visit www.miwf.org .

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook , Instagram, LinkedIn  and Twitter.

About Comerica Bank

Comerica Bank, a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated, has served Michigan longer than any other bank with a continuous presence dating back 170 years to its Detroit founding in 1849. It is the largest bank employer in metro Detroit and has more than 4,700 employees (FTE) statewide. With one of the largest banking center networks in Michigan, Comerica nurtures lifelong relationships with unwavering integrity and financial prudence. Comerica positively impacts the lives of Michigan residents by helping customers be successful, providing financial support that assists hundreds of charitable organizations, and actively participating in Detroit’s downtown revitalization. Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Follow on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.