What Businesses Can Do To Prepare For Coronavirus

Hello, my name is Kimberly Marrone and I am the Economic Development and Communications Director for the City of Oak Park.  I am working hard to identify available resources available to businesses during this crisis.  Feel free to reach out to me via email at kmarrone@oakparkmi.gov or call my cell at (810)706-3297.  If I am unavailable please leave a message and I will call you back.  This is a difficult time and I want to help as best I can as we all try to navigate through these changes.  Please make sure you visit this site often and read through what has been posted.

There are some resources available to assist small business owners during this ongoing Pandemic.  Oakland County One Stop Shop has a resource page with many tools and suggestions as well as links to available resources.  One suggestion is to take advantage of this downtime to work on setting up or updating your website, marketing your business, create social media accounts, or even explore other ways to deliver your products.  Make sure you are communicating to your customers. 

The State of Michigan also has prepared a webpage which lists available resources to business owners.  Please visit their page to find the latest resources for businesses of all sizes. 

While our City Complex is closed we are still open for business.  If you need assistance please reach out to Economic Development and Communications Director, Kimberly Marrone at kmarrone@oakparkmi.gov.

Business Resources
Small Business Administration - Economic Injury Disaster Loans
     Business loans up to 6 months of cash flow
     3.75% rate for businesses, 2.75% rate for non-profits
     Comes with built in deferral of 12 months, so first payment due one year from loan approval
     Portions of the loan used for payroll may become forgivable
     Funded within 30 days
Oakland County/MEDC Grant and Loan Programs - Application
     Businesses should apply for SBA loans      

     To be eligible for either the grant or loan , your business must have experienced significant financial hardship as a result      of the COVID-19 outbreak or related state executive orders.
Small Business Grant Qualifications: 

  • 50 employees or fewer.
  • Working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage, utility, or other similar expenses.
  • Able to demonstrate an income loss as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak or related state executive orders.
  • You can apply for up to $10,000.

Small Business Loan Qualifications:

  • 100 employees or fewer.
  • Working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage, utility, or other similar expenses.
  • Able to demonstrate that the company is unable to access credit through alternative sources.
  • Able to demonstrate an income loss as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak or related state executive orders.
  • Loans to range from $50,000 to $200,000.
To submit for either a  Grant or Loan, you are required to complete both an Eligibility Form and an Application.

Updates: April 3
Payroll Protection Program Application
Begins Today
The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone. The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as: 
  • The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made; and 
  • Employee and compensation levels are maintained. Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs. Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months
More Information and List of Lenders Check with you creent financial institution first and if they cannot do the application for you visit the list of lenders.
Fact Sheet
CARES ACT Small Business Guidelines
April 1

Small Business Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
Fully Forgiven
Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
Must Keep Employees on the Payroll - or Rehire Quickly
Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and
maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if
salaries and wages decrease.
All Small Businesses Eligible
Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietors, and independent contractors— are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.
When to Apply
Starting Friday, April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietors can apply.
Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap.
How to Apply
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower.
Additional Information is available at
Loan Fact Sheet
Loan Fact Sheet
Application Now Available for Michigan Small Business Relief Program Funding

Michigan’s small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 virus can now apply for $10 million in grants and $10 million in loans through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program. The funding supports businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and may be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business. This program is administered through Oakland County and the County Commissioners have matched the allocation to Oakland County.  Businesses need to apply by April 6 at Noon you can apply here for either the loan or grant program.

Unemployment Benefits Increased and Expanded for Workers Impacted by COVID-19

Under the federal CARES Act, Governor Whitmer signed an agreement between Michigan and the U.S. Department of Labor to expand unemployment benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment insurance. This includes workers who are self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig economy workers, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 per week for up to four months and extends benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks.

If someone has already applied for unemployment benefits, they do not need to re-apply at this time. Additional guidance from UIA regarding eligibility and application details will be released in the coming days.
For more information click here

March 29

Small Business Relief from Oakland County and MEDC
     Applications can be completed online for these funds here.  If you would like to read more about the grants available to small businesses please visit oaklandcounty.gov

March 27
Guidance for Rent Relief Requests and other Commercial Properties
Oakland County Announces Plan to Create a $3 million Stabilization Fund.  The $10 million grant portion of the MEDC assistance available beginning April 1st was sent to Oakland County to distribute those funds.
The Small Business Association (SBA) urges businesses to contact their lenders and discuss a deferral.  SBA Economic Injury Disaster Recovery Loans.  No cost to apply and can be done online on their website.  Loan highlights:
     Loans available up to $2 million
     Loans are available for up to 6 months of a businesses cash flow needs
     Rates - 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for non-profits
     Includes a 12 month deferral on first payment

March 26
Work Share Guideines
SBA Disaster Loans Step by Step Guide

March 25
Executive Order FAQ's

Oakland County Executive Coulter issues new guidelines for employers that remain open.  See News release here. 

March 23,

Governor Whitmer issues Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order beginning at midnight until April 13th.  
A guide to what is considered "essential services" can be found here.  Please take a look at the guidelines set forth by the Department of Homeland Security.

March 20, 2020 - Additional Resources and Updates

Sales Use and Withholding Taxes due today have been given a 30 day extension.  The new due date will be April 20th.  No penalties will be given at this time.

Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Resources If you are an employer needing to layoff employees it is important to do so properly so the employees have access to resources.  Click here for details.

Small Business Association

Oakland County Michigan Works
Please visit their website to get information on giving temporary leave as opposed to layoffs, the work share program (if you are reducing hours of an employee they can get reduced unemployment benefits), some businesses are experiencing rapid growth based on the new demand in certain sectors.  If you are in need of posting jobs visit mitalent.org or call 1-800-285-WORKS to post your jobs.

Businesses that want to stay in contact with their customers have the opportunity to use the Shoployal app for Free for 90 days visit their website for details www. merchant.shoployal.com fact sheet

The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved $20 million dollars in both grant and loan funds.  Companies will have to show they have had a hardship and also have been turned down through the SBA Disaster Recovery loans.  The program will be rolled out on April 1st or sooner.  The Loan fund is setup for businesses under 100 people in an amount of up to $100,000 at a rate close to .25% and can be used for working capital needs.  The Grant fund will be for businesses of up to 50 employees, available in an amount up to $10,000 and is for working capital needs.  Follow the MEDC website for more details.

Disaster Recovery Loan through the SBA has been approved.  Businesses are encouraged to apply online and should be willing to pledge capital if they have any.  This loan will help businesses pay on losses due to the disaster and they should be prepared to show their losses.

Some businesses that have the capacity to make new products have been reaching out as well.  We encourage these businesses to visit the PMBC website to see the demand that is needed by product.

Updates: March 18,

Treasury: Small Business Taxpayers Provided Tax Assistance

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 www.michigan.gov/workshare.

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:

  • Do not terminate the employee – specify a temporary/indefinite leave with return to work expected that is within 120 days.
  • Do not create a contractual obligation to bring the employee back to work – Let the employee know that the situation is fluid and subject to change.
  • Provide the employee with a formal Unemployment Compensation Notice. Employers will need to provide their Employer Account Number and Federal Identification Number.  
  • Communicate to the employee about their rights. Under Governor Whitmer’s recent Executive Order, workers are placed on leave, or are unable to work because they are sick, quarantined, immunocompromised, or have an unanticipated family care responsibility, are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Ensure employers are provided information on how to obtain unemployment insurance benefits. A factsheet can be found here.
  • Get each employee’s up-to-date contact information.
  • Let employees know if you will be putting updated information on the entity’s website or intranet, if applicable.
  • Appoint a single, or limited number of individuals who will field questions, and communicate that information to employees.
  • Keep a tally of all questions and answers.  Periodically share with employees.

The state is monitoring issues related to continued medical insurance coverage and will update accordingly.

Elimination of Certain Unemployment Costs to Employers

Under the governor’s 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. 

Other Resources

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit the MEDC’s website: www.michiganbusiness.org or call 888.522.0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Visit their website https://sbdcmichigan.org/small-business-covid19/ for additional information. 

Governor Whitmer is also seeking additional solutions for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Earlier this month, Congress passed legislation that makes $1 billion available to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide low-interest loans to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and nonprofits that have suffered substantial economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The governor has informed SBA that she is seeking an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration for the state and has initiated the process to receive the declaration from SBA. Once granted, small businesses in qualifying areas will be able to access low-interest loans through the SBA. In the interim, we are encouraging small businesses that could benefit from SBA loans to start collecting the information they’ll need to complete and submit their application. Examples of information needed can be found here. For additional information or to obtain help preparing the loan application in advance of the declaration, please contact the Michigan SBA offices in Detroit or Grand Rapids.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.