PETOSKEY — The Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation is punching $50,000 into the Regional Resiliency Program. The funds will be awarded to Emmet County businesses with nine or fewer employees that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Venture North Funding & Development, based in Traverse City, launched the Regional Resiliency Program in May with a $200,000 award from the Consumers Energy Foundation, originally established to help small businesses in Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties. It since expanded to include Antrim and Manistee counties. It now has added Emmet County, according to a release.

Emmet County employers with nine or fewer employees that were impacted by COVID-19 have until Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. to submit grant applications. Funds can be used by grantees for a variety of needs, ranging from new online sales programs to purchases of personal protective equipment, inventories, advertising and more.

Grant applications are available online at www.venturenorthfunding.org. The application takes about 30 minutes to complete. Questions may be directed to Betsy Evans at 1betsyevans@gmail.com or 231-383-2798.

A team of local representatives will review each application. Grants arrive as a direct deposit into the bank accounts of awardees.

Venture North’s program since May secured additional funding from a variety of sources for 140 grants totaling about $400,000. No individual grant has exceeded $5,000.

“Our entire community has been hit hard by the pandemic,” David Jones, executive director of the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, said in the release.

“While we’ve worked to provide financial support to our partner nonprofits, the Community Foundation has also been looking for ways to support our small business community,” he said.

“These small businesses which employ our friends and neighbors are a vital part of the fabric of our community. They are the small mom and pop shops as well as the burgeoning entrepreneurs, and their success makes our community stronger. Partnering with Venture North and the Regional Resiliency Program offered a turn-key way for us to help.”

Donations can be made online at www.venturenorthfunding.org, or by calling Venture North at 231-357-6776.

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