LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer toured Kidz Kingdom Childcare in Detroit following remarks at the Detroit regional Small Business Summit, which brought together small business owners, advocates, support organizations and lenders from Southeast Michigan as part of a statewide effort to inform a comprehensive strategy for small business investment in Michigan.
“As we continue Michigan’s economic jumpstart, we have an unprecedented opportunity to make lasting investments in our innovative small businesses and hardworking families,” said Governor Whitmer. “It is crucial that we use the influx of federal resources and our $3.5 billion state budget surplus to support to those have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. Over the coming weeks, I look forward to meeting with small business owners, entrepreneurs, and working families to hear directly from them on the challenges they face and how we can work together to ensure they all thrive.”
Support for small businesses, along with expanded access to high-quality, affordable child care are critical parts of the administration’s Economic Jumpstart Plan which would allocate millions in federal relief funding to support and invest in working people in Michigan.
With additional state revenues expected following last month’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference and incoming federal funding that includes $2 billion in remaining CARES Act funding, nearly $6.5 billion in flexible funding through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), $176 million in federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funds, and $1.4 billion in federal child care funding Michigan is in a strong position to make the investments that can transform the landscape for small businesses and help both residents and businesses recover from the pandemic.
Today’s summit in Detroit is the first of four regional summits following last month’s virtual Small Business Summit hosted by the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation meant to inform a comprehensive strategy for small business investment in Michigan.
"After the challenges and setbacks small businesses and the workforce faced during the pandemic, these conversations are just the beginning to address the unique needs of employers in Michigan and Detroit," said Susan Corbin, acting director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. "I look forward to participating, actively listening and strategizing with our business partners, local officials, community organizations and lenders in future events this summer. By working together and bringing a diverse set a voices around the table, we can continue to jumpstart the economy and get Michigan back to work."
A recent survey conducted by New Economy Initiative found 93 percent of businesses in southeast Michigan have less than 10 employees and 77 percent stated capital was their most significant need. The impact of small businesses on the economy is felt throughout the state with 63 percent of Lansing and Grand Rapids businesses having less than 10 employees and 71 percent and 70 percent in Traverse City and Marquette having less than 10 employees, respectively.
“On behalf of ProsperUs Detroit, I'm honored to support the Small Business Summit,” said Chanell Scott Contreras, Executive Director at ProsperUs Detroit. “I am inspired by the commitment to inclusive and equitable support of small businesses across Michigan and look forward to rebuilding our local economies alongside entrepreneurs, community and economic development organizations, and our leaders at the State.”
Access to available, affordable child care remains a critical factor for families looking to return to work. Last month, Governor Whitmer announced her proposal to invest $1.4 billion in federal child care funding to expand access to high-quality child care, make child care more affordable, and support child care professionals as part of the administration's Economic Jumpstart Plan. The plan helps people go back to work and support their families while giving them the peace of mind to know that their children are safe and learning.
Investment highlights include:
- Make child care more affordable for families
- Increase income eligibility from 150% of the federal poverty level (FPL), $39,300 annually for a family of four, to 200% or $53,000 annually for a family of four from August 1, 2021 - September 30, 2023, making low or no-cost child care available to an estimated 150,000 more children. Thereafter, income eligibility permanently increases to 160% FPL, $41,920 annually for a family of four.
- Increase access to the child care subsidy for student parents enrolled in Michigan Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners for a 12-month period. Individual student parents will leave the program per the exit requirements.
- Support for early educators
- Offer premium pay for child care professionals with stipends paid quarterly from July 2021 - September 2022.
- Maintain mental health supports provided by infant and early childhood mental health consultants for children enrolled in child care.
- Stabilize child care businesses
- Raise child care subsidy rates by 20% for providers to move closer to the market rate for child care.
- Provide business stimulus grants to all child care providers to help them remain open and serving Michigan families.
- Expand access to child care
- Provide grants to new and expanding sites in communities without adequate child care (10% of the ARPA stabilization grants is proposed to be set aside for this purpose).
“During the pandemic, we received unprecedented financial relief from the federal and state government. Ultimately, permanent changes must be implemented in order for the childcare industry to be a viable career path for early childhood professionals and small business owners,” said Danielle D. North, Owner-Operator of Kidz
For more information on the small business summits and support for small businesses visit www.michigan.gov/