2020 Emergency Fund for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
Note that we are not able to respond to applicant inquiries via phone and email. Please refer to our website for information.
Applications for the TechTown Stabilization Fund will be open from Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 9 a.m. until Friday, April 17, 2020 at NOON.
Applications submitted after the April 17 deadline will not be considered for funding awards.
To mitigate barriers for Detroit’s most vulnerable businesses and entrepreneurs, TechTown Detroit will administer an emergency fund that provides working capital grants in amounts up to $5,000 to qualifying applicants. The following is the investment criteria for financial support:
- The business owner’s household income must be low- or moderate-income (≤80% of the Area Median Income). Business owners must provide proof of household income based on their 2018 or 2019 tax returns.
- Business owners will need to provide their Social Security Number (SSN) OR Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
- Businesses must be for-profit. Nonprofit organizations are not eligible.
- The business must have 10 employees/contractors or less.
- The business must have a business address in the city of Detroit, the city of Hamtramck, or the city of Highland Park.
- The business must have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19.
- Grants may be used to cover the day-to-day operating expenses of the business, such as rent, payroll, utility bills or losses due to destabilizing events.
The TechTown Stabilization Fund is designed to support small, vulnerable businesses including:
- Service businesses: A service-based business sells something they do, rather than a physical product. This could include, but is not limited to, lawn care, cleaning, hair care, graphic design and consulting.
- Freelancers and those in creative industries.
- Makers: Makers produce, build, sew or craft the products that they sell. These can include, but are not limited to, jewelry, clothing, furniture and home goods.
- Home-based businesses: A home-based business manages most of their business operations from their home rather than a commercial location.
- Small businesses with a physical location in Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park.
When will applications be accepted?
We will accept applications from Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 9 a.m. until Friday, April 17, 2020 at NOON.
In preparation, business owners should be collecting documents to verify eligibility, such as their 2018 or 2019 tax return; mortgage note or lease; utility bills; and receipts. Michigan business entity identification number and employer identification number (EIN) will be required. Click here for the Michigan business entity search to look up your Michigan business entity ID number.
When will decisions be made on individual applications?
Applications will be reviewed and decisions made before April 30, 2020. A loan review committee from the metro-Detroit area will review and approve/deny the grant applications. Grants will be disbursed by TechTown Detroit.
Does my income qualify as ≤ 80% of the Area Median Income?
|80% of AMI||$42,800||$48,880||$54,960||$61,040||$66,000||$70,880||$75,760||$80,640|
Chart data source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the eligibility requirements?
Businesses must meet the following requirements to be eligible to apply:
(1) The business owner must have low or moderate household income (≤80% of the Area Median Income).
(2) The business must have 10 or fewer employees/contractors, including the owner(s).
(3) The business must be located in the city of Detroit, city of Hamtramck, or city of Highland Park.
(4) The business must have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19.
(5) The business must be for-profit. Nonprofit organizations are not eligible.
(6) Business owners who previously have been awarded a grant from either the Detroit Small Business Stabilization Fund or the Detroit Small Business Relief Fund Grant for the City of Detroit and Wayne County (administered by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation) are not eligible.
Candidates must meet the criteria and agree to share financials and other essential information.
2. What businesses are NOT eligible to apply?
- Businesses that are franchises and chains are not eligible to apply.
- Independent contractors operating multilevel or network marketing businesses (such as Avon, Mary Kay, 5LINX, Pampered Chef, etc.) are not eligible to apply.
- Independent contractors working on gig platforms (such as Airbnb, Fiverr, Uber, Lyft, Instacart, etc.) are not eligible to apply.
- Nonprofit organizations are not eligible to apply.
- Business owners who previously have been awarded a grant from either the Detroit Small Business Stabilization Fund or the Detroit Small Business Relief Fund Grant for the City of Detroit and Wayne County (administered by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation) are not eligible to apply.
3. Up to what amount of money can a business apply for?
Grants will be awarded in an amount up to $5,000 for businesses with a physical location. Grants will be awarded in an amount up to $2,500 for home-based businesses. To support the fund in serving those with the greatest need, business owners will be asked to note and substantiate their monetary need on the application.
4. What can the grant be used for?
Grant money may only be used for the operating expenses of the awarded business. The operating expenses are defined as the day-to-day trading operations of the business, such as covering payroll, rent/mortgage and utilities.
5. What is the timeline for applications?
Applications will open Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 9 a.m. and will be accepted until Friday, April 17, 2020 at NOON. Applications must be submitted online on the TechTown Detroit website. No other form of application submission will be reviewed.
6. Is there a location requirement?
The fund will be available to all Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park-based businesses meeting the eligibility requirements.
7. Can I apply for more than one business?
Funds will be granted to only one business per applicant. Each business will receive only one grant.
8. What factors do you consider when evaluating applications?
Applications will be evaluated based on all the data requested. Not all applicants will be funded. There are several measures that will cause an application to be evaluated more favorably. These include, but are not limited to, the following (in no specific order):
- Documentation of business registration (Michigan business entity identification number, uploaded Certificate of Assumed Name, etc.) is more favorable than companies lacking any documentation.
- A high percentage of Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park-based employees is more favorable than companies with no/low percentage of local employees.
- A business bank account is more favorable than a personal bank account.
- Companies with owners without a separate full-time job will be more favorably viewed than companies whose primary owner has a separate full-time job.
- Companies that have been in business longer will be evaluated more favorably than companies that are newer.
- Companies that were operating successfully and profitably, but were negatively impacted by this crisis, will be evaluated more favorably than companies that were struggling before this crisis.
9. When will decisions be made on individual applications?
Applications will be reviewed and decisions made before April 30, 2020. A loan review committee from the metro-Detroit area will review and approve/deny the grant applications. Grants will be disbursed by TechTown Detroit. TechTown will contact all applicants with a final decision.
10. How will payments be made?
Grantees will receive funds via automatic payment (ACH) deposited to their bank account or printed check. Grantees should have their business account and routing numbers available for quicker payment. CashApp, Venmo, PayPal and other platforms are not acceptable payment options.
11. Who do I call if I have questions about my application?
We are not able to respond to applicant inquiries via phone and email. Please refer to our website for information.
12. What if I’m having trouble viewing the application or experience an error message?
If you’re using Comcast / Xfinity internet services, you may have trouble viewing the application or experience an error message. We ask that you first reset your modem and reload the page or use mobile data (with your WiFi off).
This Fund is made possible by a lead gift from the New Economy Initiative and additional support from Bank of America.