Lansing CARES; Small Business Assistance Program

by Alex Stratilatov, Attorney at Law

Sadly, many Michigan small businesses have struggled in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic since beginning of 2020. Luckily the fantastic city of Lansing is doing what it can to help local businesses succeed, and even prosper, as we head into the new year.

Lansing CARES

Lansing Mayor, Andy Schor, unveiled the Lansing CARES Small Business Assistance Program the first week of February, 2021. This program is designed to provide easily forgivable loans to support small City of Lansing businesses which have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

According to City of Lansing, such loans will be unsecured, at 0% interest, and shall range from $5,000 to $50,000. If awarded, a recipient will have between 10 days and 6 months to repay or have the loan forgiven if used entirely on eligible expenses.

Eligibility

To qualify for the loan, a business must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The business must operate for profit and the primary business location must be within the corporate limits of the City of Lansing.
  • The business’s self-defined service area must be primarily residential, in the City of Lansing, and 51% of household incomes in that area should qualify as “Low-Mod Income” (at or below 80% of Area Median Income).
  • The business must have been in operation prior to March 1, 2020.
  • Business’s total revenue for 2019 must have been $1,500,000 or less.
  • The total number of employees as of March 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021 must both be 60 or fewer.
  • Must have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 (or related executive orders) and be able to show a COVID-19 related need for at least $5,000 to cover eligible expenses.
  • Must certify that the business and any party with 20% or greater ownership is in good standing for all City of Lansing, state, and federal taxes.

Additionally, businesses in the engaged in the following industries are not eligible to receive these loans:

  1. Check cashing/payday advance
  2. Adult stores/services
  3. Packaged liquor retailer
  4. Sale of firearms
  5. Marijuana operations of any kind
  6. Internet based business
  7. Wholesale and business-to-business operations
  8. Non-profit companies
  9. Manufacturing
  10. Involved in illegal activities

Finally, a company is ineligible for such a loan if it has had a personal or business bankruptcy in the past two years.

Awards

Any loans awarded through this program will be solely used for operating expense. This means only necessary expenses that are required to keep the business open can be covered by these loans; including but not limited to: payroll, rent, mortgage, utilities, and other, similar expenses.

Application

Lansing CARES loans will be distributed based on demonstrated need and impact. Currently, 25 to 50 businesses are anticipated to receive assistance.

The process of applying for this program is two-fold:

  1. Applicants should complete a “pre-application,” which will determine their eligibility.
  2. Once this pre-application is submitted, applicants will be directed to a disaster planning course and given access to the full application.

Pre-applications should already be available, and although there is no set timeline, applicants should make an effort to apply as soon as possible.

Daudi and Kroll is happy to offer assistance in completing the application. Please contact us at (517) 381-2663.

Alex Stratilatov is an Attorney at Daudi & Kroll, P.C., focusing primarily on Corporate Formation, Business Law, Contract Negotiation and Drafting, Real Estate Transactions, and Business and Real Estate Litigation. He can be contacted for any questions related to this article or other areas of law at alex@daudikroll.com or (517) 381-2663.