TRAVERSE CITY — The Regional Resiliency Fund awarded $83,000 in grants to 37 small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a release from Venture North.

The businesses are in Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.

According to the release, the funds were provide via charitable giving by Cherryland Electric Cooperative, the DTE Energy Foundation, the Brookby Foundation and private individuals.

The Regional Resiliency Fund was created in June from a grant of $200,000 from the Consumers Energy Foundation to Venture North. The first round of funding awarded grants of up to $5,000.

But Venture North Executive Director Laura Galbraith said the amount of assistance far outpaced the need.

“We received 301 applications requesting over $1.3 million in grants through the first two rounds of the Regional Resiliency Fund,” Galbraith said in the release. “We estimate that these small businesses have reserve cash to cover 14 to 27 days, which is simply insufficient. Many of these businesses were forced to close earlier in the year due to the pandemic and then had difficulty finding employees and recovering lost sales.

“We want to keep awarding small grants as quickly as possible with the recommendations of our local grant application review teams. With the current absence of additional federal support and autumn rapidly approaching, we encourage businesses, charitable organizations, and individuals to contribute to the Regional Resiliency Fund to help sustain small businesses that are the heartbeat of northwest Michigan.”

Recipients of second round grants from the Regional Resiliency Fund are:

  • Benzie County: Clark Automotive, Field Crafts, Governmental Products, JBM Management (Grey Stone), The Betsie Current
  • Grand Traverse County: 2 Chefs Hearth Eatery (Great Lakes Chocolate), 45th Parallel Lighting, Ben Whiting Productions, Building Blocks Preschool, Cherry Country Café & Gift Shop, Conradie Event Design, Dream Lab Industries, Great Lakes Clinical Message, Green House Café, Hang Workshop, Higher Art Gallery, Hodges Fastener Corporation, Kilcherman Receiving, L. William Consulting, Mitchell Creek Inn, Northern Lights Chiropractic, Sanctuary Handcrafted Goods, Tabone Vineyards, TC Green Clean, The Dish Cafe, Thornton Ventures, Tin Can Printing, Toy Harbor, White on Rice Sushi
  • Leelanau County: Heartwood Forest Farm, IndieGrow Flower Farm, Lylah’s, Martha’s Leelanau Table, Poppy Things, Rove Estate Vineyard & Winery, Two Twisted Trees Photography, Wiggle Butts & Waggin Tails

Galbraith said talks “with other counties are underway with several other counties interested in involvement in the program,” according to a release. Galbraith added a third round of grants may be available with additional funding.

Venture North is a 501©(3) nonprofit “created to support business and job growth in northwest Michigan.” More information about Venture North is available at

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