Traverse City News and Events

Venture North Granted $500k In 2020; Releases Annual Report

Jan. 20, 2021

Venture North, the nonprofit organization that provides financial and technical assistance for small businesses throughout the region, released a report on Tuesday highlighting its 2020 operations.

In total, Venture North provided more than $500,000 in grant funding to local business owners in 2020, spread out among 177 small companies that had been hit hard by COVID-19. Those grants were administered as part of the Regional Resiliency Program, which was kickstarted in the spring by a $200,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation. Additional grants and donations to the fund allowed Venture North to continue administering “lifeline grants of up to $5,000” throughout the year, all to businesses with nine employees or fewer.

Some key takeaways from Venture North’s annual report:
Regional Resiliency Program applicant stats
·       67 percent of businesses that applied for grants have three or fewer employees
·       Nearly 40 percent have been in business for more than 10 years
·       78 percent were required to close at least once by a Michigan executive order
·       Less than half received federal stimulus relief of any kind
·       70 percent of Regional Resiliency grants were awarded to woman-owned businesses

Year-over-year stats
·       In addition to the 177 businesses that received grants through the Regional Resiliency Program, Venture North assisted 93 other businesses with lending solutions, for a total of 270 businesses helped by the organization – up from 107 in 2019.
·       Between Regional Resiliency grants and business loans, Venture North had a grand total capital deployment of $923,465 in 2020, up from $560,211 in 2019.

In 2021, Venture North plans to continue the Regional Resiliency Program, with goals of administering at least $500,000 in grants to at least 200 small local businesses. The organization is also hoping to spend the New Year helping local businesses get their Payment Protection Plan (PPP) loans forgiven by the federal government.

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