U-M helping Detroit’s small businesses locate, navigate coronavirus-related financial aid

April 15, 2020
Contact: Jeff Karoub jkaroub@umich.edu
Detroit Sip Image credit: Jevona Watson

4/22/19 This Is Michigan – DNEP, Detroit Sip, Jevona Watson

ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan is working with Detroit’s small businesses to help them find sources of federal financial aid amid the COVID-19 pandemic and assist them in navigating the rules and regulations they will encounter in the application process.

The Ford School of Public Policy’s Center on Finance, Law and Policy, through its Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project, has compiled resources business owners need to access the roughly $375 billion in grants and loans earmarked for small businesses in the $2 trillion stimulus package signed into law last month.

COVID-19 Resources for Small-Business Owners: Highlights resources to find, prepare and apply for funding. This guide points to free assistance to help with required financial statements and offers practical advice on updating websites and social media.

Coronavirus Funding for Small Businesses: Provides details about the most widely available funding programs including SBA Disaster Loans, the Paycheck Protection Program, TechTown Stabilization Fund Grants and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation Grants.

Justin Erickson, program manager for the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project said the resources respond to a need observed among Detroit small-business owners.

“For a lot of small-business owners, this is their first time dealing with bank lending and navigating the complexities involved in the process,” he said. “We have a team of interdisciplinary students responding in various ways: law students researching legal questions related to Small Business Administration lending, public policy students creating easy to understand guides, and design students designing templates for businesses moving to online sales.

“We have also expanded our team of students who are consulting directly with businesses on accounting and finance issues, as well as helping businesses navigate different loan opportunities and fill out applications.”

Businesses can make appointments to meet virtually with students at umaccountinghelp.com.