Reopening retail webinar scheduled

MANISTEE — The Northwest Michigan Small Business Development Center and the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce on May 27 will host a webinar on reopening retail.

“Revive & Thrive: Reopening Retail” is scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon online. Networks Northwest is also a sponsor of the event.

Meegan Holland, vice president of communications and marketing with the Michigan Retailers Association, will lead the webinar. Topics include reopening your retail store or small business, store configuration, employee management, dealing with vendors and safe distancing practices. Northwest Michigan SBDC Regional Director Annie Olds and Business Consultant Joni Krolczyk will be available for additional questions and answers following the presentation.

The webinar is free, but advance registration is required at www.SBDCMichigan.org/training. More information is available by email at sbdc@networksnorthwest.org or by calling (231) 929-5060.

Meijer adjusts hoursGRAND RAPIDS — Meijer is adjusting store hours and extending dedicated times for senior citizens, customers with chronic health conditions, essential service workers and its own employees.

Meijer will close at midnight and reopen at 6 a.m. Meijer Express store locations will close at 11 p.m. Pay-at-the-pump fuel sales will be available 24 hours a day.

According to a release, Meijer stores will extend dedicated shopping times for senior citizens (age 60 and older) and customers with chronic health conditions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8 a.m., while essential service and medical workers can shop Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-8 a.m. Pharmacies open at 7 a.m. those days.

GVSU personnel make PPE donationsTRAVERSE CITY — Students, faculty and staff from Grand Valley State University’s Regional Center in Traverse City made donations of personal protective equipment to Munson Medical Center.

Nicholus Kopacki, physician assistant studies site director and assistant program director, said he asked students and colleagues about making the donation in late April, according to a release from GVSU.

The release said Traverse City physician assistant studies students who were on clinical rotations in March “remain in a holding pattern, waiting to return to that work after the stay-at-home executive order is lifted.”

The release said the program “is working diligently to keep the graduation timeline on track for the current clinical year students.”

McLaren receives telehealth funding

FLINT — McLaren Health Care was awarded $626,328 from the Federal Communications Commission for expanded COVID-19 telehealth services.

McLaren is one of 30 healthcare providers in the country to receive the grant, which will allow for 12 hospitals in the state to enhance telehealth connections between providers and patients.

McLaren launched its telehealth service, McLarenNow, in March 2019.

SUW payments can be pushed back

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Treasury announced that business taxpayers, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, have additional time pay their Sales, Use and Withholding (SUW) taxes.

Business taxpayers scheduled to make SUW tax payments due in March, April and May can postpone filing requirements until June 20. The state Treasury will waive penalties and interest on those deferred payments. According to a release, business taxpayers are encouraged to file SUW tax returns and pay taxes owed as of the original due date if able. Discounts will still be applied if payments are received on time.

The waiver is not available for accelerated sales, use or withholding tax filers. For more information, businesses should use the self-service option through Michigan Treasury Online or go to www.michigan.gov/askSUW.

Desk Drawer Fund marks first year

EAST LANSING — The Desk Drawer Fund, the philanthropic foundation of MSU Federal Credit Union, has donated $170,824 to 53 organizations in its first year of existence. The Desk Drawer Fund donated $56,700 to 10 organizations in 2020 and $114,124 donated to 43 in 2019.

The Desk Drawer Fund’s five areas of focus are: arts & culture, stable housing, empowering youth, financial education and fostering entrepreneurship. More information is available at www.deskdrawerfund.org.

State receives energy assistance

LANSING — The State of Michigan was awarded more than $35 million in federal funding to “help vulnerable households struggling to afford utility bills during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a release.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is releasing $900 million for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for federal Fiscal Year 2020 from the CARES Act. Michigan’s share of the supplemental funding was $35,130,421.

Michigan already has $162 million in LIHEAP already funding this fiscal year. The additional money will be used for crisis assistance to help households pay part of their energy costs.

More information on getting help paying a utility bill is available at www.mi211.org.