New funding bolsters existing disaster declaration, will aid businesses, individuals

(FLINT, Mich. – February 26, 2016)  Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet, was in Flint, Michigan today to announce additional SBA assistance for businesses and individuals affected by the ongoing water crisis there. This package is in addition to the SBA economic injury disaster loans made available to the Flint community earlier this month by the agency’s disaster declaration.

“This is an important moment for the people of Flint,” said Contreras-Sweet. “The federal funds I’m announcing here today will build on the economic development work already taking place in this region. Thanks to the swift action of many, today the City of Flint is open for business. Michiganders and others who truly want to show their solidarity with their brothers and sisters here in Flint should start by paying them a visit. Eat at local restaurants. Stay at this city’s incredible inns and hotels. That’s how we’ll help Flint weather this storm and position itself for future growth and success.”

"The tragic water crisis in Flint is as much of a disaster as a natural disaster and the families of Flint deserve swift action," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams, who leads the U.S. Economic Development Administration. "EDA has a long history of supporting the Flint community and stands ready with our federal partners to help move their recovery efforts forward."

"We appreciate the SBA's ongoing support of Flint-area businesses," said George Wilkinson, Group Vice President, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. "Our goal at the Chamber is to do everything we can to support and strengthen companies that have been impacted. The funding just announced by U.S. SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet will help to move Flint businesses forward."

SBA Economic Assistance Package:

  • $100,000 in Microloan capital directed specifically towards Flint.
  • Additional $100,000 available to provide training and technical assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs from the water crisis.
  • $100,000 increase in existing SBA educational and technical assistance for small disadvantaged businesses in Flint and the surrounding area.
  • SBA will host business and investment roundtables and other events to help small businesses in Flint gain access to federal and private sector funding opportunities.
  • $100,000 in additional supplemental funding to the Kettering University SBDC to support consulting in the food service and hospitality businesses as well as training in marketing/communications, financial management and access to capital.
  • Counseling and outreach opportunities in Flint will be expanded through the Women’s Business Center in Livonia, Michigan.
  • SBA will convene accelerators/incubators labs in the Flint and Detroit areas to share information about opportunities for accelerators to grow.
  • SBA will meet with money managers, private equity firms and banks to encourage fund managers to invest in small business in the city of Flint.

Contreras-Sweet was joined by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Jay Williams, for the announcement as well as a tour of small businesses in Flint. During her visit to Flint, she also hosted a lunch with stakeholders and community leaders at Churchill’s Food and Spirits.

Additional details about today’s announcement can be found here.