Coronavirus in Michigan: Day 57

Struggling entrepreneurs could catch a break in Greater Lansing

LEAP launches $500,000 grant program for underserved populations


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TUESDAY, May 5 — Up to 120 businesses in Greater Lansing owned by people of color, women, those with disabilities, immigrants, veterans and other underserved populations could be eligible for a $2,500 grant through a new Lansing Economic Area Partnership program.

LEAP announced today the launch of its “One&All” inclusive entrepreneurship program that’ll provide $2,500 grants and a hybrid model of business support for up to 120 startup or small business entrepreneurs from various underserved populations across the local tri-county region.

The program, a first in Michigan, is funded through a $300,000 contribution from the state’s Michigan Economic Development Corp. and $200,000 from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist lauded the new program:

“As we look ahead to recovery efforts in the wake of the impact COVID-19 has had here in Michigan, providing pathways for economic success for all individuals here in the state will be more important than ever. Michigan’s entrepreneurial spirit is what keeps us moving ahead when times are hard, and fuels our growth in times of recovery.”

Eligible applicants must fall below a certain asset and income threshold and can either be in the idea stage of a business or be looking to pivot and grow an existing business. LEAP will also target up to 50% of awards specifically to residents who don’t speak English as a first language.

In addition to a $2,500 grant, selected businesses (or business ideas) in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties will receive business coaching and access to a professional network of investors. Community organizations will assist LEAP in reaching out to underserved residents.

“It’s a sad reality that many would-be entrepreneurs and small-business owners fail or never even get started because they do not have access to the opportunities that enable success, simply by virtue of who they are,” LEAP President Bob Trezise said in a press release. “LEAP will not leave anyone behind in our economic development plans for the Lansing region.”

Applications will be accepted in June. Click here for more information about the new program.

In Greater Lansing…

The East Lansing Downtown Development Authority has allocated $250,000 in discretionary funds to launch a business relief program for DDA businesses suffering financial hardships amid the pandemic. At least 100 eligible businesses will each receive $2,500 in business relief grants.

Applications open tomorrow at midnight. Click here for more information about the program. The DDA will hold its next meeting virtually at noon on May 14 to discuss the grant funding in detail.

After a hoard of armed and angry protesters swarmed Lansing last week, State Rep. Sarah Anthony brought some extra protection on her way to the State Capitol today. At least three armed citizens escorted her into the building today so she could safely attend meetings.

A barber in Owosso pushed back against Michigan’s lockdown on nonessential businesses this week until cops gave him a ticket with a possible $1,000 fine, reports the Lansing State Journal. The shop was open for 15 hours on Monday and Tuesday to keep up with customer demand.

Across Michigan…

Republican lawmakers have charged forward with an expected lawsuit against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earlier this morning, filing litigation that alleges her latest extension of the state of emergency over the coronavirus was unlawful, according to reports in the Detroit Free Press.

House Speaker Lee Chatfield said only the Legislature has the power to extend the emergency. The case was assigned to Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens, though the case will likely head to the state Supreme Court where Republican nominated judges have a 4-3 majority on the bench.

Whitmer signed two more executive orders today to extend existing orders that were issued last month and set to expire. One continues to allow electronic signatures on official documents and remote notarizations until at least June 30. The other continues temporary suspensions on motor carrier licensure requirements, including certain decals and trip permits.

A group of several dozen lawmakers — including some from Detroit — are asking the Justice Department to investigate the treatment of communities of color amid the pandemic that’s disproportionately affected African Americans, reports The Detroit News.

Michigan received nearly $25.3 million from the federal CARES Act today to support senior citizens with a wide range of services such as bathing, dressing, rides to doctors’ offices, education and management of chronic illnesses. Community organizations will orchestrate the services.

Officials said about $633,000 will be spent on supporting a long-term care ombudsman to provide various consumer advocacy services for nursing home residents. About $15.2 million will be spent on home-delivered meals. The remainder will go to other community services.

The Free Press also reports that a woman was arraigned on murder charges yesterday after a store clerk asked her to put on a mask before he was shot and killed. A man who wiped his nose on a Dollar Tree employee’s shirt has been charged with assault, reports the Free Press.

In the numbers…

At least 24 cases of COVID-19 were tracked across Greater Lansing today, but no new deaths were reported since yesterday. The regional death toll still stands at 30 with at least 803 confirmed cases reported across Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties in the last few months.

Michigan tracked at least another 657 coronavirus statewide cases earlier this afternoon with another 71 virus-related deaths, edging up the case count past 45,000 with 4,250 deaths.

Ingham County                        

Cases — 539 (+18)   

Recoveries — 178            

Recovery Rate — 33%     

Deaths — 14

Fatality Rate — 2.6%           

Zip code 48911 tracks 131-140 cases. Zip code 48910 tracks 61-70 cases. Zip code 48823 tracks 51-60 cases. Zip codes 48854 and 48864 each track 41-50 cases. Zip codes 48842 and 48906 each track 31-40 cases. Zip codes 48912 and 48915 each track 21-30 cases. Zip code 48917 tracks between 11-20 cases. Zip codes 48840, 48895, 48285, 48819, 48827, 48892, 48909, 48933, 49251, 49264 and 49285 each track 1-10 cases. This data is updated daily.        

Eaton County                     

Cases — 141 (+3)

Recoveries — 101            

Recovery Rate — 71.6%          

Deaths — 6                 

Fatality Rate — 4.3%             

Clinton County                           

Cases — 123 (+3)            

Deaths — 10  

Fatality Rate — 8.1%                        

The Mid-Michigan County Health Department does not report recovery statistics.                  


Cases — 45,054 (+657)

Recoveries — 15,659 (as of 5/1/20)               

Recovery Rate — 34.8%        

Deaths — 4,250 (+71)

Fatality Rate — 9.4%          

State reports show that about 69% of cases (and 80% of deaths) are reported from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties, including the city of Detroit. Other hotspots include Kent County with 4.5% of cases, Genesee County with 3.8% of cases, Washtenaw County with 2.5% of cases, Saginaw County with 1.7% of cases, Ingham County with 1.2% of cases and Kalamazoo County with 1.2% of cases statewide. About 4.3% of cases, or 1,936 cases (and 48 deaths) have also been reported among state prisoners at the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Caucasians account for 34% of cases and 49% of deaths. Despite accounting for a smaller segment of the population, African Americans account for 32% of cases and 41% of deaths.        


Cases — 1,214,572

Deaths — 71,982

Fatality Rate — 5.9%     

Source: CNN                 

As of this afternoon, Michigan still has reported the seventh most cases in the country, behind New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Michigan also ranks fourth in most virus-related deaths, behind New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.



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