The Mott Foundation is giving more than $260,000 in grants to help African American owned businesses in Flint reopen after the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to their press release, the Mott Foundation is giving the grant money to the Genesee Chamber Foundation to distribute. The grants will be giving out in $5,000 increments to help African American business owners reopen safely. Business owners interested in the details have a couple of options to get information. You can see updates and details on the Restart Flint & Genesee website here.

You can also watch a YouTube Live presentation about the grant from the Chamber below on Friday, May 15th at 10am.

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The grant is aimed at helping small businesses in Genesee County reopen safely, but there are some very specific criteria business owners should know about.

  • The business was operating prior to the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order.
  • The business is majority owned by one or more African Americans.
  • The business is locally owned. No national franchises or chains.
  • The business is an LLC or S-Corp located within the city of Flint.
  • The business has no more than 50 employees.
  • Operation of the business was significantly impacted by the executive order.

According to the press release, priority will be given to business sectors hit the hardest by the pandemic. Those business lanes include salons, child care, retail businesses, and many others.

The business owner must demonstrate economic hardship, providing a narrative that describes challenges faced, proposed use of funds and how the business is critical to developing a sense of place for residents.

The Mott Foundation has been helping Flint and Genesee County for decades, so it's no surprise to see them helping out now, when it is most needed. I love the fact that they are giving priority to small, local, African American owned businesses.

This is like the small business initiative that the federal government rolled out, only with a lot more thought put into the details. The federal plan turned into a disaster as big businesses quickly exploited the loop holes in the plan to get more money for themselves.

Flint has faced more than our fair share of hardships in the last decade, and it's scary to think where we would be without the support of the The Mott Foundation.