95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

State and federal COVID-19 stimulus packages have won approval. Is it too little, too late?

Local First logo
Local First

Small business owners and their employees have been struggling to make ends meet as restrictions curbing the spread of COVID-19 is limiting business activity.

There’s financial help on the way with Michigan lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer agreeing to a $465 million pandemic spending plan. including $55 million for small business grants. Congress has come up with a $900 billion relief package.

“You know I think folks are hoping that this time around there is an additional, kind of, intentionality with regards to providing true support for small businesses, for local businesses.”

Hanna Schulze is President of Local First and Good for Michigan.

“And hopefully it’s not debt capital relief funding, right. It’s actually going to be universally, unrestricted funding that businesses can use to support their staff, their utility bills, and other things like this.”

Schultz points out the majority of the first round of emergency aid earlier this year ended up in the hands of large businesses and grants for small business owners were limited in number. Often requiring advanced financial knowledge securing them.

I asked, is this too little, too late?

“Yes, I certainly think so. You know, I mean, we’ve gone how many months, six months since that last stimulus truly was put out and even then, we had to wait months and months for guidance and I think…there will be losses that we won’t be able to get back, and that’s going to be heartbreaking and we’re going to have to acknowledge those losses. Of course, the loss of life and also so many of our businesses, and these small businesses that make our community wonderful.”

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.