Michigan’s small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 virus can now apply for grants and loans through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program. The program will provide up to $20 million in grants and loans to provide economic assistance to Michigan’s small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 virus, and in turn help support workers and their families facing economic uncertainty during the outbreak. Information on how to apply, as well as eligibility criteria, is available at www.michiganbusiness.org/covid19.
MI Manufacturers, Tech Companies Available to Requests for Ventilators, Remote Work Tech, Business Resources
Cronicle’s MICHIGAN LIFE SCIENCES & TECH BUSINESS COVID-19 COLLABORATION PAGE is now live and being added to daily. Michigan has a number of manufacturers, tech businesses, and hospital systems working together to create everything from medical supplies to vaccines to remote work and education options right now for COVID-19 response. Cronicle Press has put together a beginning list of companies posting requests or offering solutions to the coronavirus outbreak from business to educational tech to medical supplies and life science research. We will add to this list continually, but wanted to let you know it’s already up and running, from local manufacturers able to prototype ventilators and other hospital supplies to tech companies helping professionals and students switch to remote work options.
The World Health Organization Publishes Technical Guidelines for COVID-19 Researchers Studying Antibodies & Community Spread
The World Health Organization has published information for COVID-19 researchers looking at antibodies in previously infected individuals to help gain a picture of community spread, the possibility of catching the novel virus twice, and to track other characteristics of the disease. If you or a company or research team you know is working on COVID-19 research, the following information may be useful as it is linked to more resources and related guidelines. Also, if you are not already following this page, this is where WHO publishes guidelines for a number of rapidly evolving aggregated studies and guidelines for COVID-19 response. We hope it is helpful to you.
LANSING, Mich. (Mar. 19, 2020) – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the availability of emergency relief funding for small businesses this morning, as fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit small businesses and hourly workers particularly hard.
Ann Arbor SPARK is emerging tech hub Ann Arbor’s premier small business support organization and new business incubator. We connected with their marketing director Jenn Queen to ask about any resources they’re publicizing for the greater Ann Arbor area and Michigan businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. Ann Arbor SPARK has shut down its local offices to protect workers, but already has an extensive list of informational and business support resources for businesses planning for these changing times, and has more programming in the works aimed at supporting small businesses in partnership with the state of Michigan. More on that in the coming weeks as details are available. For now, we list the resources listed through Ann Arbor SPARK here for your convenience, but please visit Ann Arbor SPARK’s website for updates as this is a quickly evolving situation for individuals and businesses alike. Be well.
LANSING, MICH. The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity today provided guidance to Michigan employers on how to avoid potential layoffs related to COVID-19.
“We know that many families and businesses are and will experience economic pain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said LEO Director Jeff Donofrio. “Through Governor Whitmer’s executive action and existing state programs, there are resources for employers affected by COVID-19. We are also strongly urging job providers facing work shortages to place their employees on temporary leave as opposed to termination, so that they may remain eligible for potential federal assistance.”
Brandon Marken is co-founder and CEO of Lean Rocket Lab, a tech incubator in Jackson, Michigan, that focuses on helping new founders with an idea for a manufacturing business or product go from 0 to 60. Lean Rocket Lab has a generous open-door policy to help new entrepreneurs with a business idea walk in with a business idea, whether it’s well-formed or early stage, and be given some guidance and mentorship and connection with professionals who can help them build into a successful business. Now Lean Rocket Lab is launching a new accelerator program in the advanced manufacturing space, to bring together more new businesses on the tech side of manufacturing with Jackson Michigan’s global hub of hundreds of manufacturing companies to help new manufactured products get out into the world.
We’ve spent the week asking around for regional resources and up-to-date information on COVID-19/Coronavirus prevention and quarantine resources in Michigan. Initially, there weren’t any. Press contacts in local research centers said they were busy getting a grip on the situation themselves, didn’t have time to be interviewed, or simply didn’t have any information yet available, and the Centers for Disease Control had very limited published information available online. Testing seems to be the biggest bottleneck on getting a handle on how far COVID-19 has spread in the United States, as early COVID-19 tests were faulty, and the promise from the Trump administration to distribute 1 million tests, or loosening restrictions from the CDC on who could perform testing or how many people should be tested, fell under scrutiny as they missed an early window for preventing and monitoring spread of the novel respiratory virus.
It’s already March, so we’re going back to our standard format for Michigan tech events including meetups this month, in case you’ve missed the usuals. We’ve highlighted a few we think you might be interested in. Have a great month, Great Lakes tech!
From Water Pollution to Cannabis Testing: Traverse City’s SampleServe Automates Environmental Survey Data
Russell Schindler is the head of TCNewTech in Traverse City, which at 1600 members averages 200 people per meeting. He’s also the CEO and founder of a company called SampleServe that uses technology to update the antiquated process of environmental sampling, from municipal water supply testing to cannabis. It sounds simple, and some of the technology is, but, Schindler tells us, the state of Michigan updated the standards for environmental sampling of soil, water, and the like, a number of years ago, and all of a sudden, it became much harder for companies to not only purchase specialized equipment required to conduct their sampling, but also to process all the data.