The foundation for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce wants to raise another $2 million for an emergency relief fund for small businesses affected by closures from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation already has raised $1 million for the Rapid Response Economic Relief Fund. Donations came from local foundations and corporations.
The relief fund provides grants of $5,000 to $10,000 for small businesses in Kent County with five to 25 full-time employees, as well as consulting assistance on cash flow projections. The fund, which has awarded 44 grants that total $415,000, works to “act as a financial bridge to small, for-profit businesses awaiting assistance from government-sponsored programs and to organizations that cannot access local, state, or federal relief funds,” the Chamber said today in a statement.
“We are committed to having both an organization and initiative where the most vulnerable and underserved businesses understand that they belong in this community,” Grand Rapids Chamber President and CEO Rick Baker said in a statement. “It is paramount to support those that have contributed to the vibrancy of our city and work together to cultivate a thriving and prosperous West Michigan for all.”
Organizations that have received support are 97 percent minority-owned and 50 percent women-owned.
The Chamber Foundation is working with the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber, Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses, Start Garden LLC, The Right Place Inc., SpringGR, Ferris Emprende, Local First, and area neighborhood business associations to identify potential grant applicants.
Small business owners and prospective contributors can get more information on the relief fund here.
Supporters of the Rapid Response Economic Relief Fund include:
- CDV5 Foundation
- Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation
- Deloitte Consulting LLP
- Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation
- Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation
- Jandernoa Foundation
- Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation
- Peter C. & Emajean Cook Foundation
- Priority Health
- Profile Films Inc.
- SpartanNash Co.