• Webinars

    June 8 - 3pm:  If you are a Women Owned Small Business or a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business
    learn about policies specific to your socioeconomic program in this new normal.  

    June 8 - 4pm:  Join us for: Start Selling Online Today With Shoppable Landing Pages from Constant Contact
    Email marketing is one of the best tools for ROI your marketing team can use. SCORE estimates an over 4000 percent ROI on email marketing…so why aren't you using it? See how easy it is to get started with Constant Contact's Email Marketing platform in this one-hour demonstration.

    June 9 - 9am:  The New Tech Experience by Consumers Credit Union 
    Leveraging Technology to Serve Safely

    June 9 - 1pm:  Michigan’s Post-COVID Workforce
    MEDA Members $20/Non-Members $35* Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies were struggling to find talent because the unemployment rate was lower than it had been in many years. Now, with a significant number of our workforce filing for unemployment, forecasters are predicting a major surge in hiring once it is safe to resume operations, but there is also a strong possibility for a continuation in the high unemployment rate. This workforce may not be what it was before; open offices turning into hybrid offices, long-term social distancing, etc. How can the economic development community help businesses prepare for what could be a completely different workforce that they must train as well as keep safe?

    June 10 - 9am:  Road Map: Ways to give tourists peace of mind
    It’s no surprise. Fears are mounting. We’re anxious about the coronavirus. The air we breathe. The things we touch. Our jobs. Money. Politics. These fear factors are chilling our blood. Gnawing our psyche. And tragically making us afraid of out-of-towners. Fear factors… meet your match! Katie White from Holt Bosse returns to talk about what scares us about tourists this summer. What scares tourists away from Southwest Michigan. And ways you can buck these fears and create the safe, refreshing spaces everyone craves more than ever. The fears are real. So is peace of mind. Here’s your road map to the latter.

    June 10 - 3pm:   If you are a Small Disadvantaged Business
    or are participating in the Historically Underutilized Business Zones program gather insight into policies specific to your socioeconomic program. 

    June 11 - 11am:  Introduction to Marketing Your Business
    This is a fundamental introduction to marketing for small businesses.

    June 11 -1pm:  Payroll Protection Program: Tracking and Reporting
    You have received the Paycheck Protection Program loan, what’s next? Learn how to manage the funds with the goal of 100% loan forgiveness and have the information to complete your forgiveness application.
    Topics include:
    ·     Identifying your eligible expenses
    ·     Maximizing your system
    ·     Spreadsheets options
    ·     Calculating FTEs
    ·     Preparing for the forgiveness application
    ·     Making the entries for loan forgiveness

    June 15 - 11am:  Financial Management
    During this webinar we’ll guide you through the basics of financial management. You’ll learn about the importance a bookkeeping system as we review real small business examples of Cash Flow Statements, Profit & Loss, and Balance Sheets.

    June 17 - 1pm:  Active violence in the workplace
    If customer confrontations do escalate, we want you to be prepared. This training will help you pick up on cues of potentially dangerous customers (or employees) and prepare you to respond to violent incidents.

    June 22 - 2pm:  Dealing with difficult customers
    This training will arm you with communication and de-escalation strategies to handle belligerent customers who don’t want to follow your businesses’ guidelines, such as wearing facemasks.

    June 23 - 1pm:  Dealing with difficult customers
    This training will arm you with communication and de-escalation strategies to handle belligerent customers who don’t want to follow your businesses’ guidelines, such as wearing facemasks.

    June 24 - 9am: Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Adapting Your Business
    It’s no secret that the stay-at-home orders have impacted local businesses. With social distancing guidelines likely to continue well into summer, don’t expect your traditional summer season. Plan your Detour. Katie White from Holt Bosse returns to talk about the importance of adapting your business and adopting a flexible attitude to Summer 2020. She will share ideas for thinking ahead and putting your business in the best possible position to weather the coronavirus storm. Get out your map and start planning an alternate route. 

    June 25 - 2pm:  Dealing with difficult customers
    This training will arm you with communication and de-escalation strategies to handle belligerent customers who don’t want to follow your businesses’ guidelines, such as wearing facemasks.

    July 2 - 10am:  Creating a Crisis Budget
    Participants will be able to identify types of income during COVID-19, track income, identify and trim expenses, track expense. You will walk away with tips and resources to help tackle difficult financial decision amidst this pandemic.

    Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-5pm: Get Advice from SCORE Mentors LIVE
    Chat with business mentors, get free resources and information from popular companies, and participate in online peer support discussions. Brought to you by SCORE and Constant Contact.

    On-Demand:  Can Employees Avoid Work, Avoid Discipline and Get Paid?
    Many employers are facing severe staffing shortages now.  Enhanced and expanded unemployment benefits and protections against discipline for failing to return to work have left employers searching for methods to maintain staffing levels.  Whether you are operating now or planning on reopening in the near future, join Bodman Workplace Law attorneys to discuss potential solutions to these challenges. 

    On-Demand:  #BBBConnects: Managing Remote Work for Your Business
    We recognize that many businesses are facing uncertainty right now. To help you and your organization adapt to the new realities we all face, we invite you to join us and our panelists for a free, live webinar on how businesses can successfully work remotely.


    New in the News

    Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act
    On June 3, the Senate passed the House version of the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, which will:
    Give businesses 24 weeks to spend their PPP loan proceeds instead of 8 weeks.
    Require that only 60% of proceeds be spent on payroll expenses, versus the previous 75% constraint. 
    Extend the deadline that businesses must rehire workers, from June 30 to December 31.
    Provide a loan repayment term of five years instead of two years for any loan dollars not forgiven.
    Allow borrowers to defer the employer share of Social Security taxes (6.2%), regardless of whether the borrower receives forgiveness or not. 50% of deferred Social Security tax would be due in 2021, with the other 50% due in 2022.


    Congress Agrees On Favorable Changes To Paycheck Protection Loans: What Does It Mean For Borrowers?
    The Senate unanimously approved H.R. 7010, a bill that will dramatically alter several critical terms of the recently-enacted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The bill, which passed the House last week and now heads to the President’s desk for signature, will provide much needed relief for borrowers as they seek forgiveness of their loan amounts.


    Executive Order 2020-114 and 2020-115
    Reopening More Regions, Economic Sectors Under MI Safe Start Plan 
    Northern Michigan, Upper Peninsula Regions Move to Phase 5 on June 10; Personal Care Services Including Salons, Barbershops Reopen Statewide on June 15 


    Solicitation of Services
    The Michigan SBDC, through U.S. SBA CARES Act funding, is requesting proposals from service providers to perform activities to address the needs of small businesses impacted by COVID-19


    Four Steps to Sustain Your Restaurant During COVID-19
    Right now, there are relief programs being launched daily to help small businesses like yours recover from the pandemic disaster. Explore the options, but do not make any reactive decisions. Take some time to assess your situation and try to find the best course of action. 


    A Letter To The South Haven Community From The National Blueberry Festival
    As you know, 2020 has changed everything. Between the coronavirus, its economic impact on our community, and high water issues along Lake Michigan, we have all had to dig deep to keep moving forward and to stay positive. But the National Blueberry Festival rolls with the punches, and our goal is still to celebrate the South Haven community and our favorite fruit in a way that is fun and responsible! We remain committed to living our values and our mission, and keeping traditions strong, which we believe is especially important in times of disruption and unease.

    Executive Order 2020-110:  Under this order, retailers will be allowed to resume operations on June 4. Restaurants and bars may reopen fully on June 8.
    Swimming pools and day camps for kids will also be permitted to reopen on the same day. Those businesses and activities will be subject to safety guidance to mitigate the risk of infection. Other businesses and activities that necessarily involve close contact and shared surfaces, including gyms, hair salons, indoor theaters, tattoo parlors, casinos, and similar establishments, will remain closed for the time being.


    Update from the City of South Haven on Reopening


    If you are an entrepreneur who wants to share your story with the Kalamazoo entrepreneurial ecosystem, it’s quick and easy to apply.
    1 MILLION CUPS is a free, nationwide program designed to educate, engage and accelerate early-stage startups. We believe in the notion that entrepreneurs can discover solutions and thrive when they collaborate over a million cups of coffee. To learn more, watch this nifty 2-minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiscWISgJgw.

    New online dashboard provides COVID-19 risk and trend data, helps inform MI Safe Start plan 
    A new, online dashboard launched today that visually illustrates COVID-19 risks and trends in Michigan, providing residents with important information about the pandemic status where they live and work. 


    Statewide Platform to Connect Michigan Employers with PPE Producers, Suppliers as Non-essential Businesses Begin to Re-open 
    With efforts to re-engage Michigan’s economy underway through recent executive orders signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Pure Michigan Business Connect program through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has developed a portal specifically designed to support the personal protective equipment (PPE) needs of Michigan businesses as they start the process of re-opening.


    MDARD Offers Guidance to U-Pick Operations in Advance of Opening for the Season
    As warmer weather approaches, so does Michigan’s U-pick season. Farm operations across the state are working so they can safely open and operate in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) outlined key protocols that U-pick operations should be implementing to protect themselves and their customers.


    COVID-19 Workplace Checklist
    Van Buren and Cass County businesses and entities may need this guidance to reopen or expand current services. Under the recent guidance, Van Buren/Cass District Health Department strongly encourages these businesses and entities to take the following actions to ensure the safety of employees and customers. This guidance covers universal screening, social distancing practices, and what to do if an employee tests positive. This is basic guidance. The Governor’s Office along with the Michigan Economic Recovery Council (MERC) may provide additional, more detailed and industry-specific guidance on reopening.


    Guidance For Businesses Reopening
    As the curve continues to flatten and many businesses reopen their doors, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) within the Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) issued workplace guidelines for employers and employees and created a new hotline, 855-SAFEC19 (855-723-3219), to answer guideline questions and further protect Michigan’s workforce from the spread of COVID-19. 


    MI Safe Start Plan
    Outlines how we will begin to re-engage while continuing to keep our communities safe. Re-engagement will happen in phases. Those businesses that are necessary to protect and sustain life are already open. As we move into lower-risk phases, additional business categories will re-open and the restrictions on public gatherings and social interactions will ease.


    Expanded Work Share Program Helps Employers Bring Back Workers from Unemployment and Restart Their Operations 
    As Michigan businesses begin to reopen, employers are urged to utilize the State’s Work Share program which helps employers experiencing economic pain due to COVID-19 retain their workforce and bring back employees from lay-off as they restart their businesses.


    FedEx is giving $1 million to small businesses
    Each grant recipient will receive $5,000, plus a $500 credit from FedEx Office that can be used for printing banners, posters, floor graphics, custom branded boxes, and more. Each grant recipient will receive a check for $5,000. Additionally, each recipient will receive a $500 credit at FedEx Office to use toward printing services. From May 25, 2020, through June 12, 2020, you can go to fedex.com/supportsmallgrants and click “Apply Now” to start the application process.   


    MEDC Expands Two Community Development Programs 
    Launches New Website to Support Small Business and Downtown COVID-19 Recovery Efforts
    These initiatives include the MI Local Biz Community Crowdfunding Program, which pairs successful crowdfunding efforts with a financial match from the MEDC; an expansion of the Match on Main program to support recovery efforts of small businesses through grants to local units of government, downtown development authorities, or other downtown management organizations; and a new website offering resources, strategies and assets for downtowns and communities as they plan for their re-openings following the COVID-19 crisis. 


    Paxton Media Group has established a $250,000 advertising fund
    to help local businesses get back to full strength by subsidizing their marketing through matching grants. Locally owned and operated businesses can now apply for a grant to help recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.


    SBA to Make Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to U.S. Agricultural Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic
    U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today that agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. SBA’s EIDL portal will reopen today as a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The legislation, signed into law by the President one week ago, provided additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


    Michigan Chamber of Commerce and 30 - Chambers Announce COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Agenda
    Michigan Chamber of Commerce and 30 local and regional chambers released the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Agenda to help get Michigan’s economy restarted. “Chamber members agree that public safety is paramount while we also focus on protecting our economic health. The policy recommendations contained in this agenda will assist businesses in their efforts to provide safe workplaces and spaces for their employees and customers and create more certainty and clarity to reenergize Michigan’s economy,” said Steve Mitchell, Chair of the Michigan Chamber’s board of directors.


    Do You Have a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan? We Can Help!
    Many employers, if they are even aware of the requirement, are confused about how to draft, maintain and implement a plan in accordance with the Executive Order and the OSHA guidance.  Thankfully, the Workplace Law attorneys at Bodman have stepped in to help Chamber members prepare.


    MIOSHA: MIWISH Grants Available for Small Employers
    The MIOSHA Workplace Improvement to Safety and Health (MIWISH) Grant Program awards qualifying employers a dollar-for-dollar match – up to $5,000 – to purchase safety and health-related equipment and equipment-related training. The goal of the program is to create a safer and healthier work environment and reduce the risk of injury and illness to workers in Michigan. Complete the MIWISH application at michigan.gov/mioshagrants. If you have any questions regarding the MIWISH grant or application, please contact (517) 284-7811 or Email: BirsenS@michigan.gov. 


    Salesforce Care Small Business Grants
    Salesforce is partnering with Ureeka to offer eligible small businesses the opportunity to receive a $10,000 grant to help them through the COVID-19 outbreak.


    Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program Guide
    This pilot program allows SBA Express Lenders authority to deliver expedited SBA-guaranteed financing on an emergency basis for disaster-related purposes to eligible small businesses, while the small businesses apply for and await long-term financing.


    Additional Relief for Specialty Crop Growers
    A group of 108 bipartisan lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary Sonny Perdue—requesting assistance. They asked for funding to develop and execute a recovery and relief plan for specialty crop growers. Washington is signaling that USDA will be issuing regulations on the CARES Act to specialty crop growers next week. Approximately $1.5 billion of the $2 trillion bill will go to specialty crop producers.


    Grants to Manufacturers Looking to Retool and Produce Critical Health and Human Service Supplies 
    PMBC COVID-19 Emergency Access and Retooling Grants program will provide a total of $1 million in grants to Michigan small businesses and nonprofits. Immediate funding up to $150,000 will be awarded to qualified manufacturers looking to produce supplies needed in response to COVID-19. If you are producing PPE and want to be listed as a vendor, click here.


    SCORE Remote Mentoring is Available
    Due to the coronavirus outbreak, SCORE mentors will meet with clients remotely. Mentors are available to participate in remote mentoring sessions via phone, email, and video. If you already have a SCORE mentor, ask them if you can use a remote mentoring method for your sessions.


    Free, Confidential Business Advice from Michigan SBDC
    Access small business consulting, training and market research at no-cost through the Michigan SBDC. To get started, please select your county from the list below and follow the prompts to complete the online request for business services.


    PMBC Virtual Procurement Assistance
    PMBC is offering a free, online procurement and donation platform to assist suppliers of critical health and human services across a broad range of categories, including local municipalities, in accessing supplies and products as they respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.


    There is currently a mandatory update to federal posters in response to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. During the stay at home order, employers should post it in an intranet or email it to all employees. Once the order is lifted it must be posted through December 31. 

    Full Toolkit
    The Michigan Chamber continues to update its toolkit with resources for chamber members.