(FLINT, Mich. – March 31, 2016) The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce is hosting orientations next week for Flint small businesses interested in applying for a Moving Flint Forward Fund grant. 

The grant program was established to help small businesses affected financially by the Flint water crisis. Grants up to $10,000 are available to businesses that meet the criteria.

Orientations will be held April 4-6, from 5-7 p.m., at Berston Field House, 3300 Saginaw St. Participants will learn more about the grant program and receive an application packet to complete.

Attendance at one of the three sessions is mandatory to be considered for a grant.

Grants may be used for:

  • Expansion
  • Repairs
  • Inventory
  • Leasehold improvements
  • Working capital
  • Water filtration and reimbursements
  • Vendor payments & debt service*
  • Marketing & advertising

*Debt acquired during the water crisis

To be considered, prospective applicants must own and operate a business within the city of Flint, and be able to prove financial hardship as a result of the current economy and water crisis. Special consideration will be given to minority-owned businesses but franchise operations are not eligible for this program. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“This is an important step toward healing and re-growing our business community in Flint,” said George Wilkinson, Group Vice President for the Flint & Genesee Chamber. “No doubt, the water crisis has been catastrophic but we will continue to work diligently with community stakeholders to turn this setback into an opportunity for economic revitalization.”

For questions or to RSVP, contact Tracy Joseph at tjoseph@flintandgenesee.org.

The funds are part of the economic development program established by the FlintNOW Foundation, created by Platinum Equity founder and Detroit Pistons Owner Tom Gores, and Huntington Bank to support homeowners, businesses, entrepreneurs and residents of Flint and Genesee County. That program donated $1 million to the Genesee Chamber Foundation’s Moving Flint Forward Fund, which will award the grants.