Additional Resources & Articles for Businesses Regarding COVID-19 Best Practices

Dear Constituent:

Our primary goals during the current pandemic have been twofold.  First, to protect our constituents, employees, and their families.  Second, to do our best to serve the entrepreneurs and corporations we support during this unprecedented time.  Along those lines, many of you have contacted us seeking best practices as you and your teams grapple with the best approaches for business continuity in light of COVID-19.  As we’ve shared in prior communications, we will continue to gather resources and helpful articles including recent legislation, free webinars, CDC recommendations, SBA assistance, and other helpful articles and resources.

Check our website often as we will continue to update and add resources frequently. Likewise, if our staff can assist you, please do not hesitate as we are here to serve you.  I pray for the health and well-being of you, your employees and all families.  Together, we will get through this.




Special Note: The State of Michigan is interested in identifying potential suppliers who may have or have access to the following items:

  1. Ventilators (new and refurbished)
  2. Hand Sanitizer
  3. Gowns and Surgical Masks (N-95)
  4. Sanitizing Wipes
  5. Gloves
  6. MISC: Items such as thermometer covers, thermometers, goggles, etc..


Due to the state of emergency declared by Governor Whitmer, we have been empowered to go directly to any suppliers for these items.

We are open to hearing creative sourcing solutions as well.

If you are aware of any of your members who may have the ability to supply the state with the above items, please have them contact us at [email protected] with quantity and availability information.  Please have any MMSDC certified MBEs or MBDA Center clients cc us on their submission so we can follow up and advocate on their behalf.


Resources & Articles

“Detroit Means Business” Program

We want to make you aware of the newly launched “Detroit Means Business” Program

This incredible program is being offered to small businesses like yours that are preparing to reopen under Phase 4 of the Governor’s Michigan Safe Start Plan.

Many of the program offerings are specifically for businesses under 50 employees in the city of Detroit who are often disconnected to traditional resources.  This program offers a number of services and resources so small businesses can:

  • Safely open and operate with proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Ensure employees and customers are safe with vetted health, safety, and reopening  guidelines
  • Have easy access to individuals ready to assist with reopening questions
  • Be aware of financial and technical assistance available to support capital and operational needs

We will prioritize free PPE distribution to small businesses with 2 to 50 employees.  If you are in this category, you will be able to access a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Starter Kit which includes: 100 masks as well as 200 gloves and a gallon of hand sanitizer. The PPE Starter Kits are being generously donated by the DTE Energy Foundation.

In order to access your PPE Kit, you will need to go to and fill out the help form to request the Kit and schedule a pickup time at the designated Detroit location.

Detroit Means Business will also offer expert webinars for small business owners. Please visit to register for the two webinars listed below, and continue to check back for more.


Oakland County ReOpening Toolkit

Oakland County ReOpen Kit will Contain

  • Gloves
  • Masks
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Touch-free digital thermometer
  • CDC / County Guidance Document
  • Posters to promote ReOpening of business
  • Stickers for sidewalk / interior spacing


UHY Presentation on CARES Act: Understanding the PPP –  I Received My PPP Loan: Now What? Maximizing Forgiveness and Compliance to PPP – May 22nd, 2020

Presentation from May 22nd UHY Call to Action Webinar Series:

Maximizing Your Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness May 22nd

The Paycheck Protection Program Loan that you received is forgivable under certain conditions. The key to maximizing this loan forgiveness, while maintaining your operations, is to understand how loan forgiveness will be impacted by workforce actions you take – both headcount actions and compensation actions. This presentation will explore the requirements outlined in the newly released loan forgiveness application and how those requirements should be analyzed to maximize your forgiveness while maintaining sound operations.


Only $120 Billion in Round-Two PPP Funding Left

Here’s a quick table summary of PPP round-two data as of 5 p.m. EST on May 10.


CARES Relief & Recovery Services – Wayne Metro

Wayne Metro understands that our communities are facing unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to respond to the immediate needs of Michigan residents, Wayne Metro is implementing our CARES Relief & Recovery Services. Through this new initiative, residents of Wayne County may qualify for assistance in the following areas:

Food & Income Support – Distributing food, formula, diapers, wipes & Personal Protection Equipment.

Water & Energy Assistance​ – Providing residents with financial assistance towards energy & water utilities.

Rent & Mortgage Assistance – Providing rental assistance & help towards mortgage payments.

Property Tax Assistance – Offering Property Tax Assistance, which can help reduce property taxes.

Emergency Plumbing Repair – Provide plumbing repairs that will resolve the immediate emergency with access to water services.

Funeral Assistance – Providing financial assistance towards burial and cremation services.



Supporting Detroit’s COVID-19 Response: Detroit At Work in the Community

Presentation from representatives of Detroit at Work sharing how they are supporting local employers and community through COVID-19.



The Small-Business Relief Program Restarts Monday at 10:30 AM With $320 Billion

The U.S. Small Business Administration will restart a government coronavirus relief loan program for small businesses next week with an additional $320 billion after the first round of funding was exhausted in just 13 days.  It is expected that this money will be gone within 72 hours. As you know, First Independence Bank is the only Minority Depository Institution in Michigan and has access to set aside funds to issue these loans.

First Independence Bank’s COVID-19 Resource Page



LCA Bank Corporation Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Application – Apply Now

Even though the SBA stopped accepting new PPP applications as of this past Thursday, LCAB is optimistic that additional funds will be allocated to the program as early as this coming week. LCAB is encouraging businesses to submit applications so that they are already in the system once additional funds are released. Loans will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are interested in applying we ask that you do so as quickly as possible.

To start the process of submitting an application through LCAB, click on the Get Started button below. You will be taken to a website where you will be able to review the requirements, including proper documentation, and quickly apply online.

Please note: that we do not endorse the firm.  They are simply trying to help process minority business PPP loans/grants.  We would encourage MBEs to apply to multiple banks as we understand most banks are concerned that they won’t be able to get their applicants processed.  These funds could literally be exhausted in a few hours.



CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY LOANS: Small Business Guide and Checklist

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.

The administration soon will release more details including the list of lenders offering loans under the program. In the meantime, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued this guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a loan.’



Top Questions From Businesses and Employers About COVID-19  – Miller Johnson Attorneys 

The materials and information have been prepared for informational purposes only. This is not legal advice, nor intended to create or constitute a lawyer-client relationship. Before acting on the basis of any information or material, readers who have specific questions or problems should consult their lawyer.



Federal Reserve to temporarily lift asset cap on Wells Fargo to spur emergency small business lending

The Federal Reserve said it will temporarily ease its regulatory pressure on Wells Fargo to allow the massive lender to underwrite emergency small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.

The Fed announced Wednesday that it will allow Wells Fargo to exceed the asset cap that the central bank had imposed on the bank in 2018 after revelations that the company had opened millions of accounts in customers’ names without their permission.

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non- profits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.

To keep up to date on when these programs become available, please stay in contact with your local Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office, which you can locate here.



COVID-19: Actions To Take Now: a roadmap provided


CDC Guidance – Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.

CDC is working across the Department of Health and Human Services and across the U.S. government in the public health response to COVID-19. Much is unknown about how the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads. Current knowledge is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses.


Google for Small Business Resources: Helping your business through COVID-19

We know this is a difficult time for people everywhere, including small business owners. We want to help. We’ve gathered some useful resources to help your business navigate these challenging times.


JA Educational Programs for Youth While at Home!

During these uncertain times, the youth that we service are on our minds daily!

We are providing simple, impactful and comprehensive educational solutions for the Southeast Michigan region. K-12th Grade Lessons can either be printed or shared electronically.


9 Small Business Tax Credits You May Be Able to Claim

If you want to save money on your business taxes, you first need to know which tax credits are available to you.

Use this guide to quickly and accurately identify the small business tax credits that will keep more money in your pocket at tax time.


How to Decide Whether to Furlough or Lay Off Employees

As the coronavirus spreads across the country, millions of jobs are being lost to shelter-in-place orders and lack of customers.

Do employers have options to protect their teams when they can’t work? Obviously, the most ideal option is paid leave, but that’s unfeasible for some small businesses. Furloughs, on the other hand, allow employers to cut labor costs without cutting workers loose entirely.


Everything Small Businesses Need to Know About the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

In response to the novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19, outbreak, President Trump has signed into law emergency legislation known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to assist American families and businesses.


How to Communicate With Your Small Business Clients About COVID-19

If there was ever a time when business owners need steady advisors to guide them through uncertainty, this is it. And we’re not talking about tax season.

Due to COVID-19, small businesses are facing challenges like never before, with teams unable to work and customer spending dramatically curbed. Accountants have an opportunity to guide business owners through these turbulent financial times and make a difference for their clients in an unprecedented way.


Exploring the Thomas Coronavirus Resource Hub for Manufacturers

To support the industry in their ongoing efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, our team recently deployed the Thomas Coronavirus Resource Hub for Manufacturers with a diverse, all-encompassing listing of resources to connect and empower the North American manufacturing community with real-time, critical business information.


How Manufacturers Can Stay Connected With Customers Through The Coronavirus Outbreak

To limit the coronavirus spread, many companies have gone completely virtual and the workforce in some states is required to stay at home, with the caveat of essential businesses and manufacturers exempt from these mandates.

Although the world has seen unprecedented changes during the past few weeks, manufacturers and industrial companies need to keep their customers at the center of their business strategy now more than ever. The world we live in is incredibly digital. So for your customers that still have jobs to be done, here’s how you can take advantage of technology and stay connected with them.


Forbes Article (Small Business Advice) – The Impact Of Coronavirus: Advice For Funded Small Businesses And Those Seeking Funding

“Spend every dollar as if it were your last.” This is a quote from Sequoia Capital, a leading venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. No, this was not a quote from yesterday but from 2008 when we entered what would be called the “Great Recession.” While the coronavirus is probably not going to lead the USA or the world into a recession, it certainly will cause a significant disruption.

Read more


Education & Webinars


As key decisions are being made about business operations in preparation for any effects of the COVID-19, it’s important to hear from state leaders at the front lines and subject matter experts who can help navigate the risks. The Chamber will be hosting a COVID-19 Tele-Town Hall Series, with weekly guest speakers, to help businesses prepare for the impact of the virus.  

Following each presentation, there will be a Q&A portion to share your most pressing needs and get answers real-time.

For more news and resources for handling COVID-19, visit


Upcoming EY Webcasts

To help you navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, below you’ll find details and links to register for upcoming webcasts on crisis management, enterprise resiliency, and planning for recovery. Visit the registration sites to view your local time for each webcast.

View EY webcasts 


IBM Think Digital – Available On-Demand

IBM Think Digital is a highly concentrated collaboration targeted at helping you accelerate essential recovery and transformation from the devastating impacts of COVID-19 while providing the deep technical education you need now. 

Watch business and technology sessions relevant to recovery and resiliency streaming on curated channels. During these two days, you’ll be able to engage in live chat and Q&As with speakers and SMEs, schedule one-on-one meetings with IBM executives and access on-demand sessions covering essential business and technology topics. Deep technical training via virtual hands-on labs and certifications will also be available throughout the week.

You’ll explore new ways of working, solve the most pressing issues facing your company and society, and engage with the experts who are leading the way.



National Small Business Town Hall – Available On-Demand

Did you miss MMSDC President Michelle Sourie Robinson Friday on the seventh National Small Business Town Hall with INC. magazine Editor-at-Large, Kimberly Weisul, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, Neil Bradley as they discussed how entrepreneurs should resolve the dilemma?

Watch this conversation in its entirety as Michelle highlights additional resources and ways to think out the box during this unprecedented time along with PPP loan forgiveness and more.

As governments and business leaders begin to discuss reopening, small businesses across the country are still struggling to find the lifelines they need to survive this economic pause. Congress has authorized an unprecedented amount of loans for businesses, but the staggering need is outpacing the available funds. What can businesses do to access the help they need? How can companies stay afloat when little or no cash is coming through the door? As state governments and business communities begin to consider reopening, how can small business owners position themselves to return to work safely?


MBDA Global Initiative Webinars

The Global Initiative has five strategic approaches in order to serve all MBDA Centers, the US Commercial Service and other partners. We identify, develop and share MBE’s with export capacity to seize opportunities to expand international sales of its products or services. However, in order to fully prepare the members for a successful expansion of their markets to Mexico; the Global Initiative will be delivering webinars to help speed the preparation process.


“Current & Future State of Minority Businesses” Presented By MBDA National Director Henry Childs, II – Available On-Demand 

A discussion with Henry Childs, II National Director to share the work he and his team have accomplished at MBDA to support MBEs working alongside the national network of centers.

Presenter: Henry Childs, II – National Director of the U.S Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency MBDA)

Moderator: Michelle Sourie Robinson – President & CEO MMSDC


SBA Stimulus Package – Care Act Webinar Series – April 7th Recording 

If you missed the Tuesday, April 7th SBA Webinar Series with SBA Michigan Director, Constance Loagan, replay the kick-off conversation in its entirety as she and the SBA team answers questions regarding COVID-19 funding, loans and more for small businesses.


COVID-19: Reopening the Economy – Available On-Demand

Watch Leslie Michelson, CEO of Private Health Management and author of The Patient’s Playbook, and Mark Moses, CEO of CEO Coaching International, to understand the most likely scenarios for reopening the economy and the steps businesses should take to prepare now. The discussion will include a specific focus on the details and challenges associated with companies re-opening their offices and other business locations.

Watch this webinar to learn:

  • When and where reopening will begin
  • What it will look like
  • What employers need to do
  • What the risks are
  • How long will it take to get back to the “old normal


SBDC – Navigating the Cash Flow Crunch – Available On-Demand 

Join us for a discussion about the most pressing action items you should be considering to proactively manage your cash flow during COVID-19. We will cover a basic understanding of cash reserves, what accounting information you need to analyze right now, payment priorities, and how you may want to begin communicating with vendors, lenders and other stakeholders. We will end the webinar with audience Q&A time with an SBDC consultant.


SBDC – Human Resource Management During COVID-19 – Available On-Demand

To balance your responsibilities as an employer with your concerns about your business, join us for a conversation about the human resources implications of COVID-19. We will talk about communicating with your employees, modifying schedules and work locations, and provide updates on unemployment coverage. We will end the webinar with audience Q&A time with an SBDC consultant.


SDBC- Managing Your Freelance Business in the COVID Crisis – Available On-Demand

Freelancers, consultants, and other sole proprietors, this Q & A session will address the challenges unique to you and help you find some of the answers you need. We’ll discuss ways to manage your cash flow, how the Federal & State relief programs may apply to you, serving your clients remotely, and strategies to take care of yourself and keep your head in the game.

SBDC – Sustaining Your Restaurant Business During COVID-19 – Available On-Demand

If you own a restaurant, coffee shop, brewery, or other food-based business, join us for a conversation with our restaurant guru John Schmitt to discuss ways to keep your business alive and continue serving customers during the COVID-19 shutdown. We will also cover questions about the SBA Disaster Loan program and options to help your employees.


SBDC – COVID-19 Conversations – Available On-Demand

Join us for Group Therapy! If you still have questions after attending or watching this week’s on-demand webinars, this one’s for you. We’ll take your questions about cash flow, employee concerns, the SBA Disaster Loan program, remote work, online sales, and other pressing matters affecting you during the crisis. We’ll bring our tissues if you just need a hand to hold.


SBDC – COVID-19 Conversations – Available On-Demand

Join us for Group Therapy! If you still have questions after attending or watching this week’s on-demand webinars, this one’s for you. We’ll take your questions about cash flow, employee concerns, the SBA Disaster Loan program, remote work, online sales, and other pressing matters affecting you during the crisis. We’ll bring our tissues if you just need a hand to hold.


SBDC – COVID-19 Conversations – MEDC Services – Available On-Demand

Join us for a discussion about the most pressing action items you should be considering to proactively manage your business during COVID-19. We will end the webinar with audience Q&A time with an SBDC consultant.

Paid Sick Leave, Paid Family Leave, Reductions in Force and other Symptoms of COVID-19 – Available On-Demand

Jackson Lewis attorneys Ellison McCoy, Rob Gignilliat, and John Connell will look at how the Coronavirus is reshaping the South Carolina employment landscape. We will address frequently asked questions about reductions in force, furloughs, employee leave and pay, and look closely the newly enacted Families’ First Coronavirus Response Act and how that legislation impacts your business. This interactive webinar will include an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists.


Managing In a National Emergency: How MBEs are Navigating the COVID-19 Business Challenges? – Available On-Demand

A town hall focused on a frank discussion with minority business owners on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their business, how are they coping, what can corporate customers do to support them and what advice can they give to other MBEs.  What do the federal, state and local governments need to do to support minority businesses? We will be taking questions during this virtual town hall.   We welcome your participation, questions and insights on what your companies are doing.  We want to hear from you!



Join us for a live web event with SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza on COVID-19’s economic impacts and the SBA’s targeted relief efforts for the nation’s small businesses. SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza will join the Small Business Roundtable and CEOs of the leading small business organizations for a discussion on the needs of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners during the economic fallout resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Administrator Carranza and officials from the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will discuss the economic relief efforts underway and resources available to small business owners. Join us for this important discussion.

Note: Registration is limited to the first 3,000 attendees. If you are unable to join, please let us know and we will send you a recording. Internet access is required to join.


How Small Businesses Must Prepare For The Impact Of The Coronavirus – Available On-Demand


Practical Issues for Employers in Navigating the New Federal Emergency Paid FMLA and Sick Leave Mandates – Available On-Demand

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which aims to provide initial relief to American workers of certain covered employers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. This new law requires covered employers to offer emergency paid leave in the form of a new mandatory paid sick leave benefit and expanded paid leave under the FMLA.

Targeted for an effective date of April 2, 2020, this new law raises just as many questions as answers. In a 90-minute, complimentary webinar, Littler attorneys Alexis Knapp, Jeff Nowak and Jim Paretti will offer an analysis of the new FMLA and paid sick leave provisions of the law and deliver practical counsel for employers navigating the requirements of the law.


State and Federal Government Resources & Support

Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Moving the Entire State of Michigan to Phase 4 of MI Safe Start Plan: Stay Safe at Home Order Rescinded

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-110, rescinding her Safer at Home order and moving the entire state to phase four of the MI Safe Start Plan. The governor’s order will allow retailers to reopen on June 4 and restaurants to reopen on June 8, both subject to capacity limits. Day camps for children will likewise be permitted to open on June 8. Effective immediately, groups of 100 or less will be allowed to gather outdoors with social distancing. Office work that is not capable of being performed remotely can resume. And in-home services, including housecleaning services, can resume operations.

Michiganders must continue to wear facial coverings when in enclosed public spaces and should continue to take all reasonable precautions to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the community. And they should continue to work from home to the maximum extent possible. Subject to local regulation, gyms and fitness centers may conduct outdoor classes, practices, training sessions, or games, provided that coaches, spectators, and participants maintain six feet of distance from one another during these activities. Outdoor pools can also reopen, with restricted capacity.

Read more


Governor Whitmer Outlines MI Safe Start Plan, Re-Opens Manufacturing & Extends Stay Home, Stay Safe Order to May 28

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-77 to extend Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order to May 28. The governor’s order will allow manufacturing workers, including those at Michigan’s Big 3 auto companies, to resume work on Monday, May 11 as part of her MI Safe Start Plan.
Gov. Whitmer also outlined the 6 phases of her MI Safe Start Plan, which she developed with leaders in health care, business, labor, and education.
“I am working closely with health care experts and epidemiologists to closely monitor Michigan’s progress in the fight against COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer. “As we move forward with the MI Safe Start Plan, I am working closely with partners in business, labor, and education to determine the best way to move forward each day. All of us know the importance of getting people back to work and the economy moving again. We’ve already reopened lower-risk sectors like construction, manufacturing, and lawn care.
“The worst thing we can do is open up in a way that causes a second wave of infections and death, puts health care workers at further risk, and wipes out all the progress we’ve made. That’s why we will continue to monitor the spread of this virus, hospital capacity, testing rates, and more as we work toward reaching the ‘improving’ phase.



Application Process Now Live For Michigan Small Business Relief Program Funding  

  • Up to $20 million in grants and loans now available to Michigan’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19 outbreak
  • Grants and loans to support businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow
  • Program now accepting applications, with key information available at

Michigan’s small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 virus can now apply for grants and loans through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program. The program will provide up to $20 million in grants and loans to provide economic assistance to Michigan’s small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 virus, and in turn help support workers and their families facing economic uncertainty during the outbreak. Information on how to apply, as well as eligibility criteria, is available at

SBA Express Bridge Loans

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.


  • Up to $25,000
  • Fast turnaround
  • Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan

Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender via SBA’s Lender Match Tool or by connecting with your local SBA District Office.

Read more


Governor Announces New Programs to Increase and Expand Unemployment Benefits for Workers Affected by COVID-19; Benefits increased for all unemployed workers, expanded to self-employed and low-wage workers

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today announced new programs for workers affected by COVID-19. The governor, under the federal CARES Act, signed an agreement between Michigan and the U.S. Dept. of Labor to implement Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation programs that grant benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment benefits. Workers include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the pandemic. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week for up to four months and extends benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks.


State Provides Guidance to Employers Contemplating Potential Layoffs

The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity today provided guidance to Michigan employers on how to avoid potential layoffs related to COVID-19.

“We know that many families and businesses are and will experience economic pain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said LEO Director Jeff Donofrio. “Through Governor Whitmer’s executive action and existing state programs, there are resources for employers affected by COVID-19. We are also strongly urging job providers facing work shortages to place their employees on temporary leave as opposed to termination, so that they may remain eligible for potential federal assistance.”


U.S. House passes COVID-19 stimulus Package

The U.S. House of Representatives withstood a delaying tactic by one of its own members Friday and loudly passed the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that passed the Senate earlier this week.

Read more 


Senate, White House Agree on $2 trillion Stimulus Package

In the early morning hours Wednesday, the U.S. Senate and the White House reached agreement on a $2 trillion economic stimulus package designed to boost a sagging economy.

Read More


Congress Makes Significant Changes to Proposed FMLA and Sick Leave Requirements in COVID-19 Bill

On March 16, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled legislation revisiting the sweeping COVID-19 response bill it passed only days earlier.  While ostensibly styled as “corrections” to the prior legislation, this new bill dramatically changes a number of provisions it had previously adopted.

We stress that this bill—like the prior iteration of H.R. 6201—is but one step in the process.  The U.S. Senate is preparing to debate its own legislation responding to COVID-19. What the House and Senate ultimately pass separately must be reconciled before a single bill can be approved and sent to the president for his signature.


Trump Signs Coronavirus Relief Bill with Paid-Leave Mandate

Large and Small Business Exceptions

Private businesses with at least 500 employees are not covered by the bill. “I don’t support U.S. taxpayer money subsidizing corporations to provide benefits to workers that they should already be providing,” Pelosi said on Twitter. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said that “big companies can afford these things.”

Covered employers that are required to offer emergency FMLA or paid sick leave will be eligible for refundable tax credits. Employers with fewer than 50 workers can apply for an exemption from providing paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave if it “would jeopardize the viability of the business.” Gig-workers and other self-employed workers will be eligible for a tax credit to cover the benefits.


Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) – FAQs

The President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act legislation on March 18, 2020, to respond to the pandemic created by the Coronavirus, which causes a disease called COVID-19.

In summary, while the FFCRA has eight divisions, two are most relevant to employers:

Read more


State of Michigan – Governor Whitmer Signs “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order

Governor directs all non-critical businesses to temporarily close, all Michiganders to stay home or six feet away from others during COVID-19 crisis

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order (EO 2020-21), directing all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. The order also directs Michiganders to stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store. 

Effective at 12:01 am on March 24, 2020, for at least the next three weeks, individuals may only leave their home or place of residence under very limited circumstances, and they must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they do so, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household to the extent feasible under the circumstances.

Read more 


State of Michigan – Vital Funding for State’s Small Businesses Gains Michigan Strategic Fund Support

Economic assistance for small businesses around Michigan that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 virus gained approval from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today.

“We understand small businesses across our state are facing unprecedented challenges as we take every step possible to mitigate the spread of coronavirus,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Through decisive actions like those taken today by the MSF Board to authorize relief for small businesses throughout Michigan, we are leveraging every resource available to support our businesses, communities and entrepreneurs around the state impacted by this outbreak.”

Read the press release for full details. 


State of Michigan – Expansion of Unemployment Benefits

Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-10, temporarily expanding unemployment benefits eligibility through April 14, 2020.

Under EO 2020-10, unemployment benefits are expanded to the following groups: workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill; workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off; and first responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19.

Access to benefits for unemployed workers will also be expanded, with benefits being increased from 20 to 26 weeks and the application eligibility period increasing from 14 to 28 days. The order also suspends normal in-person registration and work search requirements. Under the order, an employer or employing unit must not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of an executive order requiring them to close or limit operations.

In addition to the order, the governor has initiated the process for the state to receive an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Once granted, small businesses within qualifying areas will receive access to low-interest loans through the SBA. While the request is processed by the SBA, the administration encourages small businesses that could potentially benefit from SBA loans to start collecting the necessary application information.


State of Michigan – Event and Assemblage Limitations

Following recent changes to CDC guidance, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-11, prohibiting all events or assemblages in shared indoor spaces over 50 people. As of now, the order will be in effect from March 17, 2020, until April 5, 2020. Additionally, the order provides exemptions for health care facilities, workplaces not open to the public, the state legislature, and the performance of agricultural or construction work.


State of Michigan – Suspension of Load Restrictions

To help address supply shortages vital to combating the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-12. Effective immediately and continuing until April 13, 2020, EO 2020-12 suspends all state and local seasonal load restrictions for deliveries of the following: medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19; supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and the prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectants; food for the emergency restocking of stores; equipment, supplies, and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to the COVID-19 emergency; persons designated by federal, state, or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 emergency.

EO 2020-12 also directs state and local road agencies to expedite the issuance of permits allowing non-seasonal load restrictions to be exceeded, given that they comply with bridge weight tolerances. The expedited permits apply to the same categories of deliveries deemed as necessary to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, EO 2020-12 suspends all state and local restrictions on the noise and timing of loading and deliveries for the various categories of deliveries necessary to combat COVID-19.


Defense Production Act

To help increase the production output of necessary materials and goods, on March 18, 2020, President Trump announced his intent to utilize the Defense Production Act. Broadening President Trump’s authority over domestic industry, the law contains the following provisions: 1) allows the President to require businesses and individuals to accept government contracts for certain materials and control the distribution of those materials and use of facilities; 2) allows the President to establish economic incentives in order to “create, maintain, protect, expand, or restore domestic industrial base capabilities;” 3) allows the President to form voluntary partnerships with the private sector in the interest of national defense, and 4) provides the President the authority to employ experts or industry executives in government service.


Department of Housing and Urban Development Waiving Foreclosures and Evictions

With the COVID-19 pandemic’s significant impact on low-income workers, President Trump announced on March 18, 2020 that the Department of Housing and Urban Development would be suspending housing foreclosures and evictions through April. Although, detailed specifics have yet to be provided by the department.


State of Michigan – Treasury Waiving Tax Payments

In response to economic disruption created by the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 17, 2020, the Michigan Department of Treasury announced that it would be waiving penalties and interest for late payments or late filings of sales, use, and withholding tax returns due on March 20, 2020. The waiver will be in effect for a period of 30 days, delaying payments and filings to April 20, 2020.


Canadian Border Closure Seeking to reduce the transmission of COVID-19

President Trump announced in a March 18, 2020 press briefing that a mutual decision was reached with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to temporarily halt “non-essential” travel between the Canadian-U.S. border. President Trump signaled that the closure is likely to last around 30 days and will not affect travel by medical and military personnel, along with travel necessary for international trade.


U.S. Treasury Emergency Stimulus Plan

Hoping to alleviate economic insecurity, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a memorandum on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, outlining its recommendations for a $1 trillion emergency stimulus package. The plan would authorize $500 billion for two rounds of direct payments to individuals, issued on April 6 and May 18. The payment amounts would be dependent on income level and family size.

The plan would also appropriate $500 billion for the issuance of various loans, including $50 billion for passenger and cargo air carriers, $300 billion for small businesses, and $150 billion for other struggling sectors


PMBC COVID-19 Virtual Procurement Assistance

Health & Human Service providers: are you in need of critical supplies to help serve individual patients, staff, or members of your community?

Suppliers: Do you have goods that might be able to support organizations responding to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak?

PMBC is looking for both buyers and suppliers of critical health & human service supplies across a broad range of product categories.


  • List your company’s supply needs and/or capabilities on a free statewide matchmaking platform.
  • Access virtual introductions to vetted businesses within the state to source critical supplies and products.
  • Support neighbors in need, while helping generate new business within Michigan.

Read more


Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity – State Provides Guidance to Employers Contemplating Potential Layoffs

LANSING, MICH. The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity today provided guidance to Michigan employers on how to avoid potential layoffs related to COVID-19.

“We know that many families and businesses are and will experience economic pain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said LEO Director Jeff Donofrio. “Through Governor Whitmer’s executive action and existing state programs, there are resources for employers affected by COVID-19. We are also strongly urging job providers facing work shortages to place their employees on temporary leave as opposed to termination, so that they may remain eligible for potential federal assistance.”

Work Share If employers are financially distressed but hope to continue operations by cutting back hours, they are encouraged to use the Unemployment Insurance Agency’s Work Share program that allows employers to maintain employment levels and business operations during declines in regular business activity rather than laying off workers. More information about the program can be found at

Temporary Leave vs. Termination Due to the uncertainty regarding potential congressional action regarding whether and how furloughed workers will be able to access federal paid sick, family and medical leave resources, employers are strongly urged to place employees on temporary leave and advise the worker that they expect to have work available within 120-days as opposed to termination. There is no additional cost to employers, employees remain eligible for UI benefits through the state, and employees may remain eligible for potential federal assistance.

Steps for employers placing employers on temporary unpaid leave:

Read more


U.S. House Bill – Recent House Bill Regarding COVID-19

After the initial version of HR 6201 passed on the early morning of March 14, the House made a “technical correction” to the bill before it was sent to the Senate for consideration on March 17. Key provisions of the initial House-passed version of the Act are summarized in our prior alerts here and here. This alert identifies notable changes between the version that passed on Saturday, March 14 and the version that was passed by the Senate in a final vote 90-8 and signed by the President on March 18, as well as other key points of the new law.

Division C, Emergency Paid FMLA Leave, amends the FMLA to provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave to employees for a qualifying need related to a public health emergency, i.e. COVID-19. The law:



PowerPoint Presentation from Fisher-Phillips providing guidance on what employers should know regarding the U.S. House COVID-19 Bill.

Presented by: Benjamin M. Ebbink, Samantha J. Monsees and Samantha L. Saltzman


State of Michigan – MEDC, state’s small business support organizations join forces to develop resources for Michigan’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19

• Organizations working together to support Gov. Whitmer’s request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance from U.S. Small Business Administration

• MEDC to continue developing and deploying resources to support Michigan businesses of all sizes

The state of Michigan’s small business entrepreneurial support organizations have joined forces with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to ensure economic support is available to Michigan businesses to overcome anticipated loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 virus, the organizations announced today.

Read more 


SBA Assistance – Disaster Loan Assistance

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

If you have suffered substantial economic injury and are one of the following types of businesses located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL):

  • Small Business
  • Small agricultural cooperative
  • Most private nonprofit organizations



How to Apply for SBA Disaster Loan

Step-by-step guide for how to apply for an SBA Disaster Loan


Scholarship & Grants

Facebook Small Business Grants Program | Boost with Facebook | Facebook for Business

We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.

Learn more


Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration – MIWISH Grants Available for Small Employers

The MIOSHA Workplace Improvement to Safety and Health (MIWISH) Grant Program awards qualifying employers a dollar-for-dollar match – up to $5,000 – to purchase safety and health-related equipment and equipment-related training. The goal of the program is to create a safer and healthier work environment and reduce the risk of injury and illness to workers in Michigan.’

Some examples of eligible grants include:

  • Fall protection systems.
  • Eyewash stations.
  • Lock out/tag out systems.
  • Monitoring equipment and equipment for noise.
  • Lifting equipment for small nursing care facilities.
  • Machine guarding.Preference will be given to employers in high-hazard industries identified in MIOSHA’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan but all projects will be evaluated based on the specific hazards addressed.The grant period begins annually on October 1. Grants are awarded until grant funding is expended. This is a reimbursement program. Grant awards are limited to one per company.


Save Small Business Fund

The Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking initiative offering short-term relief for small employers in the United States and its territories.


Tech Startup Stabilization Fund – Grant

ID Ventures, with lead support from the MEDC, has launched a fund to help stabilize Michigan startups impacted by the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, extend their runway, and put them on a path to scale when the downturn subsides. The fund will provide loans and investments typically ranging from $20,000 – $100,000 based on the startup’s sector, stage, estimated runway, and demonstration of need. It is expected that the average award will be $50,000. Larger amounts may be awarded in scenarios where justified.


Small businesses across the country are confronting extreme economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial support at this critical time can make the difference between staying in business or closing permanently, leading to lost income, jobs and economic stability.

Thanks to a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, we are offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available.


Grow with Google Small Business Fund

Local businesses are facing unprecedented challenges as they navigate COVID-19. The Grow with Google Small Business Fund will help these businesses—especially those in distressed communities—survive this unprecedented crisis. The Fund will allow community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to support both the short-term recovery and long-term financing needs of America’s small businesses.


Goldman Sachs Announces Launch With GS Black and Latinx Entrepreneur Cohort

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS) has announced an expansion of its Launch With GS initiative with the introduction of its first Black and Latinx Entrepreneur Cohort. The Cohort is designed to provide high-touch access and resources to a select group of US-based Black and Latinx founders to fast-track their companies’ growth and build relationships with investors and industry experts.

Applications for the Launch With GS Entrepreneur Cohort are now open.
To learn more visit: 
Application Closes: April 17th


Michigan Small Business Relief Grant – Wayne County 

Applications now open. Learn more and apply today.


Michigan Small Business Relief Program

The Michigan Small Business Relief Program grants are administered by 15 local and nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs). To apply, find the EDO below that represents the county in which your business is located. Click on the appropriate website for more information and to submit your application.


Business for All Grant Program

Apply for up to $200,000 in business grants and mentorship from leaders such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Kristen Bell, Rebecca Minkoff, and more. Lend your voice to advocate for small business in the U.S., and join the movement to give every American with an entrepreneurial spirit the support to follow their dreams.

Learn more



Patronicity is providing resources to businesses interested in crowdfunding during the Covid-19 crisis, including no fees or cost to start a campaign. More information can be found at

Learn more


James Beard Foundation

James Beard Foundation has created the Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund and is currently working on application criteria. Sign up for updates on the foundation’s website at to get notified when applications are open.



Kiva, the popular small business, crowdsourcing investment company is offering 0% loans up to $15,000 with no payments for six months. More info can be found at



MainVest, a tech company that offers crowdsourced investing in return for profit sharing is offering a zero-interest, 120 day $2,000 loan if you have an existing “brick & mortar” business that has been negatively effected but the COVOID-19 outbreak. For more information, visit


The Restaurant Workers Community Foundation

The Restaurant Workers Community Foundation is a society is raising money for the Restaurant Workers COVID19 Relief Fund. The fund will be allocated as grants for direct relief to restaurant workers, grants to non-profit organizations serving restaurant workers and no-interest loan for restaurants.

Read more



Square, the payment processor is refunding all software subscription fees for the month of March for existing sellers who currently use Square Appointments, Retail, Restaurants, Loyalty, Team Management, Payroll, Marketing, and Square Online Store. Square will manage the process for you—there’s no need to do anything. Additional product updates are also in the works. You can use the just released curbside pickup option through Square Online Store, and they plan to release a local delivery feature this week.  Curbside pickup and delivery fees are waived for the next three months. For more information, please visit their website at



Yelp, the online review website, announced a $25 million in relief, primarily focused on supporting independent local restaurant and nightlife businesses, in the form of waived advertising fees, and free advertising, products and services, during this period. As part of this relief effort, restaurants and nightlife businesses that remain open will receive free access to Yelp page upgrades, including Business Highlights and Call To Action, as well as Connect, which will help them communicate timely information to their customers. Restaurants will also receive three months of free access to Yelp Reservations and Waitlist. For restaurant clients that offer delivery and/or takeout, Yelp will provide $100 in free search advertising. More information can be found at.

Read more

Additionally, Yelp has partnered with GoFundMe to allow small businesses to take donations directly on their business’s Yelp page. Yelp and GoFundMe will also match the first $500 donated to any business.

Learn more


Detroit Small Business Stabilization Fund

2020 Emergency Fund for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

To mitigate barriers to capital for Detroit’s most vulnerable businesses, TechTown Detroit will administer an emergency fund that provides working capital grants in amounts up to $5,000 to qualifying small businesses. Note that we are not able to respond to applicant inquiries via phone and email. Please refer to our website for information


Bank of America: Supplier Diversity Small & Diverse Business Scholarship Program

The Supplier Diversity Small & Diverse Business Scholarship Program is designed to provide targeted training and development support to certified small and diverse business owners. The scholarship is sponsored by Bank of America, funded by contributions from its vendors, and is managed and administered by Scholarship America®.

Scholarships of up to $10,000 will be awarded, and are intended to help recipients enhance the business operations functions within their companies, better positioning them to compete for increased business.


  • Applicant’s business must be currently certified as a small or diverse business by a recognized certifying agency
  • Business owner must have a minimum of three (3) years’ experience running their company
  • Business must employ at least three (3) full or part-time employees
  • Business must have an annual sales volume between $300,000 and $50,000,000(USD)

Scholarship Application Key Dates

  • Monday, March 2, 2020: Online applications are available
  • Friday, May 29, 2020: Application submission deadline is 3:00 p.m. Central Time on this date
  • Monday, July 13, 2020: Scholarship America will send email notifications to applicants informing applicants of their award status

Apply now


Best Practices & Tips on Working From Home

As the MMSDC and many of our constituents adjust to working remotely for the immediate future, everyone is quickly trying to figure out what works and what needs to be tweaked. Here are some tips and best practices to help keep you and your team productive during this unprecedented time.


U.S. Chamber of Commerce – 7 Things to Do When Creating an Emergency Work-From-Home Policy for COVID-19

With the coronavirus threatening the safety of working on-site, human resources experts offer their top tips for ensuring your employees are prepared to telecommute in a pinch.

Read more


Work from Home Tips to Share with Employees:

  • Craft a daily work routine: To put it simply, do what you would do in the office. Follow a certain schedule, structure your breaks, and in general, create rituals. This will help you stay more focused and keep your energy at a good level.
  • Stay online: It’s important to stay connected with your team and colleagues. Check your e-mail and messaging platforms regularly throughout the day to receive your team’s requests and questions. Keep your calendar updated and utilize web and video conference platforms like Zoom when conducting meetings.
  • Check your internet connection: Make sure you have a secure internet connection and fast enough to keep things rolling at all times. Follow all internet security guidelines diligently and do not connect to untrustworthy providers.
  • Create a workspace: Having a dedicated room/desk/corner, where you can sit comfortably solely for work, will help you concentrate more. Keep all essential items within your reach. If you live with family or roommates, be transparent with them about your expectations during work time, especially when you are in calls/meetings with colleagues, customers, and partners.
  • Limit distractions: Whether that’s scrolling through social media or cooking your lunch, it’s better to separate work from personal duties. This will enable you to retain your focus and dedicate your time to your duties.
  • Share your thoughts with your manager and team: Working remotely sometimes can lead to the fear of missing out. Remember that your manager and team members are always there to hear your ideas and updates. Welcome their feedback to boost your performance and feel free to openly communicate your concerns with your manager.
  • Remember to socialize and have fun: Relationships with colleagues are important. Having them around only virtually can become confusing. The good thing is you can still get to know them during 1:1 meetings and calls. Share a laugh whenever you can, and socialize. Keep things in balance.

Let’s all make the best of this and maintain our level of service to our customers during this chaotic period in our economy and society.


Supporting Sponsor

The supporting sponsorship gives your company exposure at all major MMSDC events and more. Learn more

The Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) is a non-profit organization promoting the economic growth of minority-owned businesses. Learn More

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