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Businesses hurt by lack of snow can get funding

ANSING — Businesses in Delta and Menominee counties that have been hurt by a lack of snow this winter are eligible to apply for federal funding because of their losses.

Lawmakers are urging U.P. businesses to apply for the aid from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Amid the warmest winter on record, with days in February and March topping 60 degrees, federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available because of ongoing federal drought declarations affecting 42 Michigan counties.

The deadline for Delta and Menominee County businesses to apply for aid is September 26.

“Michiganders are used to tough winters, but this year’s record-setting warm winter has been tough in a different way, causing economic hardships for small businesses and regional economies that rely on snow,” said Governor Whitmer. “I know how hard this winter has been on families and communities who rely on winter tourism revenue and all the associated business that comes with it–hotels, restaurants, and shops. Fortunately, businesses in these 42 counties in the UP and the Northern Lower Peninsula can apply for support right now. A drought is a drought–whether we’re talking about rain or snow. Businesses impacted by low snow in these 42 counties can apply for support right now, and I’ll continue to push our federal government for more solutions. We’ll get through this warm winter together.”

Numerous events across the U.P. were canceled because of unseasonably warm temperatures and a lack of snow.

– The UP200 was cancelled for the second year in a row because of warm weather.

– 16% of the Great Lakes froze over this winter, compared to 53% normally.

– The Copper Dog 150 in the Keweenaw Peninsula was cancelled due to weather.

– The Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race in Newberry was cancelled due to weather.

“It’s all hands on deck to ensure our small businesses affected by the unseasonable lack of snow across the First District are able to make it through this tough winter,” said U.S. Representative Jack Bergman. “Working together with the Governor, business owners, and local leaders, we will continue to take every step possible to extend necessary resources and assistance to help our communities thrive through this unprecedented winter.”

“The many great businesses that depend on a winter wonderland need this chance to access relief funds,” said state Senator Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan). “Winter will be back next year, and we want these shops to be open and ready to serve the visitors who come to the UP.”

“The lack of snow this winter has had a profound impact on our local seasonal economies and the people who depend on them, especially in the U.P.,” said state Representative Jenn Hill (D-Marquette). “I appreciate the governor encouraging Michigan’s small businesses to take advantage of the aid that’s available. We all want to ensure our communities remain resilient in the face of these unexpected challenges.”

42 Michigan counties are covered by a disaster designation for drought from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Through SBA declarations related to those designations, businesses in these counties may be eligible for emergency loans that offset their business losses if the loss is related to the drought.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans are designed to help businesses through disaster situations that have impacted their economic well-being. Loans are up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Businesses pay no interest on the loan for the first year and a maximum rate of 4% for the rest of the loan period. Businesses must apply by the application deadline for their county.

Submit applications and find additional disaster assistance information at https://lending.sba.gov. Call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Applicants may also contact the Michigan Small Business Development Center at 1-833-522-0025 or email sbdcmichigan@gvsu.edu.

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