Business Owners - Let the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project Help You!
Last Updated 04/23/2020
Applying for Funding due to Coronavirus
1) The first step is to identify what programs you might be eligible for. The Detroit Chamber of Commerce has created a helpful chart that separates out the most widely-available programs, sorted by company size, geographic location, and other criteria.
The Center on Finance, Law & Policy has also created easy-to-understand one-pagers that describe various programs being offered by government agencies (city, county, state, and federal) and by foundations. Those downloads are listed on our Coronavirus Funding Sources for Small Businesses Page.
2) The second step is to prepare the financial statements required to support the application. If you are a small business owner or the head of a non-profit and need 1:1 assistance to prepare Profit & Loss sheets, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow projections, or other financial statements, students from the University of Michigan can help. You can book an appointment with one of our four student accounting coordinators via our Free Accounting Fridays program at UMaccountinghelp.com. (NOTE: This represents a doubling of our previous capacity. One hour appointments are now available on both Wednesdays and Fridays. If you don't see an available time slot within a week, submit a message through the UMAccountinghelp.com website to ask that additional appointments be made available.)
In partnership with the Ross School's Business + Impact, Free Accounting Fridays offers free, confidential accounting advice and assistance to Michigan small business owners and non-profits. To protect the safety of our clients and our student advisors, all appointments will take place via googlehangouts or by phone. The UMaccountinghelp.com website will continue to be updated with additional resources.
Establishing a Relationship with an SBA-Certified Lender
If you are applying for a loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), your loan application will be processed not directly by the SBA, but by a SBA-certified Lender. Who are the SBA-certified lenders? Start by asking your current financial institution. If you do not have a business bank account, or your financial institution is not SBA-certified, you can:
- Find a list of lenders who are accepting new customers on the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC)'s COVID-19 Small Business resource page;
- Find an SBA Credit Union lender close to you, via this SBA Lending Credit Union Map; or
- Reach out to a traditional bank.
Learning about New Opportunities as they Become Available
Several organizations are working to compile resources that may be helpful to running your business in this changed environment, or finding new fundings sources.
- Detroit Economic Growth Corporation has a comprehensive webpage describing different emergency funding options, links to Small Business Association of Michigan webinars, plus resources for employers and workers;
- New Economy Initiative, which sponsors the resource-finding app Startup Space, has posted advice about running an e-commerce business, and about using virtual meeting technology to manage staff remotely;
- Ross' Business+Impact has an extensive list of Coronavirus-related resources for business owners, including links to free software and services, and specific advice for non-profits;
- Michigan Congresswoman Haley Stevens' office has created a downloadable guide for Michigan businesses, and includes information about unemployment for businesses contemplating staff layoffs, and information about manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
New resources are being offered at the city, state, county, and federal level. Join this Detroit-focused small business Facebook group, which is set up for small businesses to share information and resources.
Downloadable Resources for Small Businesses
You're trying to change everything about your business, plus manage your own health and take care of family members. We know you have no time to research and create new things. You need downloadable stuff you can use right away. We have your back. See below for how-to instructions and plug-and-play templates you can use immediately. More in progress - keep checking back!
Update your Hours Online. If your business offers an essential service, and you are still open, your new customers are looking for you. Help them out by updating your business' hours & delivery details on Google. Here's a step-by-step guide to show you how to update your special business hours on Google.
Carryout Menu Templates. If you are a food-based business that has pivoted to carryout and delivery only, you may need an easy-to-modify menu template for social media or print that tells your customers what's available each week. Center on Finance, Law & Policy graphic designer Jay Campbell has created this simple, free, downloadable menu in Microsoft Word for you to use to email or post on social media -- no fancy software required. Just fill in your company logo or name & modify the text. Though the template appears simple, it has been tested on multiple operating systems and screen sizes to ensure that it scales correctly when viewed on different screens. Need to print copies to mail out? Download this double-sided menu template instead, also in Microsoft Word.
Neither of these working for you? Design your own carryout menu with a free account on Canva.com.
Coronavirus Images for Your Website & Social Media. If your customers go to your website, and don't see something COVID-19-related on it, they assume it is out of date. We have created free, downloadable images for your business' website, whether the site is built in Wordpress, Wix, Drupal, or something else.
Detroit Chamber of Commerce Financial Resources. Download this chart for a clear explanation of the various financial resources and programs offered to small businesses during COVID-19.
Have an idea for another template, or something else you need? Email Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project program manager Justin Erickson with your idea. We'll see what we can do.