Thursday, July 9, 2020

Westland awards $280,000 in business grants

More than 45 Westland businesses will be awarded a total of $280,000 in grants under the Westland CARES Small Business Relief Program.  The average grant award totaled $5,000.  Funds will be dispersed in the upcoming weeks upon execution of grant agreements between the City of Westland and the grantees.  A list of businesses who receive funds will be available upon completion of the agreements. There is no obligation for businesses to repay funds unless information provided through the application process is deemed to be fraudulent. 

The program, which launched on June 3, was designed to minimize and avoid job loss caused by business closures related to COVID-19 and social distancing, according to city officials. The goal was to provide short-term working capital assistance (grants) to small businesses to enable retention of jobs held by low and moderate income persons.  Funding was provided through special CDBG-CV funding authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, they said.
Under Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines, eligible applicants had to show a loss in revenue as a result of COVID-19 and that at least 50 percent of their employees were of low/moderate income.  The program was administered through the City of Westland Economic Development Department where the initial intake and processing of applications was completed.  Each applicant was given a score based on their ability to demonstrate qualifying criteria.  Final grant decisions were then decided by a secondary review team.
“Our small businesses are facing drastic reductions in cash flow while attempting to navigate extremely difficult operating conditions,” commented Mayor William R. Wild.  “No qualifying businesses were denied funds through the program and it will allow us to retain over 375 jobs right here in our community.” 
Small Business grant recipients represent diverse segments of the economy including retail, dining, construction/maintenance, landscaping, health and fitness, barber shops/salons, entertainment, education and other professional services, he added.
Westland also used CARES Act funding to set up a rent/mortgage relief program and a program to help small businesses and residents secure Personal Protection Equipment.  More information on these programs can be found on