Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow declared that the U.S. Department of Treasury will be allocating up to nearly $237 million in federal funding to the state of Michigan as part of the state small business credit initiative.
Flower shop, Lasting Expressions, has been in business for 35 years and has seen the local business community progress overtime. “I feel like if money is available, development will happen. We’ve seen significant development in downtown Alpena recently and its been great to be a part of and watch the town grow from what it was to what it is today. It seems to be progressing along,” said Tara Wilson, Florist at Lasting Expressions.
This funding will help the small business community produce jobs, adjust operations, and assist local economies across the state of Michigan. “Any help financially for the small businesses trying to get back and get into the groove of servicing our communities is wonderful,” said Janet Clearwood, employee at Lasting Expressions. “We’re a nest of people and businesses that need that extra help and if can better the community, our downtown, and small businesses, than why not; that would be great.”
The impact of COVID–19 created widespread economic devastation. According to Forbes, approximately 75 % of business owners said they might have to close their doors permanently because of the drop in sales. “It impacted the floral industry pretty heavily so we had to make some changes, use different things, and be inventive. We were really able to make it through with very little hiccups,” said Wilson.
Stabenow and Peters helped pass and execute the paycheck protection program extension act; distributing loans to small businesses affected by COVID–19 to help pay their employees and cover other expenses.