The Ruth Mott Foundation made a big announcement this week. The foundation announced they will be contributing $100,000 to a fund that will help Black-owned businesses in north Flint that suffered economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Small businesses are the building blocks of our neighborhoods and now they’re facing a crisis that is unprecedented in our lifetime. This hardship is particularly felt in north Flint among businesses in the Black community, which has been disproportionately affected by coronavirus,” said Raquel Thueme, president of the Ruth Mott Foundation and member of the Greater Flint Coronavirus Taskforce on Racial Inequities. “These funds will provide urgent relief to help them begin to safely reopen.”

The fund is set to be used for that have been hit hardest by the executive orders to close. Businesses such as barbershops/salons, bars & restaurants, retail, construction & landscaping, childcare, tattoo parlors, and senior facilities are those the funds are set up to help.

The Ruth Mott Foundation funds are for grants of up to $5,000 for Black-owned north Flint businesses that meet eligibility criteria. That criteria is -

  • Must be locally owned, no national franchises or chains.
  • Business must be in good standing as of the date of submission.
  • Business must be under Black ownership.
  • Priority is given to industries hit hardest by the executive orders to close.
  • Must have 50 employees or fewer.
  • Must demonstrate economic hardship and provide a narrative on challenges faced, proposed uses of funds, and how the business is critical to developing a sense of place for residents.
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“North Flint business owners made an outstanding commitment to this community by opening and maintaining small business operations – no easy feat under normal circumstances,” said Lawrence E. Moon, Ruth Mott Foundation trustee and owner of Lawrence E. Moon Funeral Home in north Flint. “Now they’ve been hit by a global pandemic that upended their lives, both personally and professionally. These much-needed funds will help them protect their patrons, their workers, and their neighborhoods.”

Those business owners wishing to apply can do  by visiting the Restart Flint and Genesee Grant Program located on the Flint & Genesee Chamber website.