When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many Pontiac small businesses had to shut down. But the Pontiac Community Foundation (PCF) had a solution for these trying times: The Pontiac Community Foundation Micro-Grant Program.
These $1,000 micro-grants were awarded to 10 local businesses: Restaurants, daycare centers, salons, barbershops and others that have struggled during the pandemic. A committee made up of PCF board members and staff, in addition to community members and individuals from Kirk in the Hills, chose the recipients out of a field of 30 applicants. The micro-grants were awarded Sept. 25.
In addition, a second round of micro-grants is expected to be awarded in the first quarter of 2021, as the Pontiac Community Foundation is working with those who want to provide funding for more micro-grants — which could be even more generous.
“These small businesses are the backbone of the Pontiac community and have been hit hard by the pandemic,” said Dustin McClellan, founder and CEO of the PCF. “Now, more than ever, our goal is to ensure that small businesses receive much-needed capital to sustain themselves during this time.”
The businesses who received the micro-grants have some flexibility in how they can utilize the funds, but are encouraged to use them for:
· Payroll costs
· Rent, lease, utility and mortgage payments
· COVID-19 related expenses like PPE and cleaning supplies
· Critical business operation costs
To be eligible, the business had to be in the city of Pontiac and have no more than 50 employees.
In addition, businesses owned and operated by minorities or people of color, businesses with a brick and mortar space and businesses that have not received other grant funds were giving priority consideration.
The businesses that were awarded the grants are:
· 47 North, Inc.
· Colors R us
· Crown and Glory Beauty Studio
· Divine Twenty-Six
· Elam Barbershop
· Harold’s Italian Ice
· Kutt Different Clothing
· Liberty Bar & Poutinerie
· Too Talented Ladies, LLC
· Weeschool Preschool
The Pontiac Community Foundation has dedicated itself to building a brighter future for the city and tackling its most pressing issues. Since it was founded in 2018, PCF has been working to give grants to local groups and organizations – seeking to empower others and lead by example. For more information, please visit the PCF website.