ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — When Michigan’s non-essential businesses shut their doors in March , the small business community had quite a challenge finding money to keep their operations afloat. Now there’s a new tool that can simplify the process.
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"We were a bustling flower market, garden center and we do a lot of work with weddings and florals and events," said Olive's Bloom Box owner Laurie Bolach.
Things were blooming at Olive's Bloom Box in Ferndale until the weren’t.
"So far, we've had 12 weddings that have canceled," said Bolach.
Like many small business owners a midst the pandemic Laurie Bolach was forced to shutter her operations.
Sending her into battle to keep her business afloat and find the funding to do it.
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She says it wasn’t easy.
"I really had no idea the waters I was stepping into," she said.
Until she found an article online about a web portal finding financial aid for small businesses during COVID-19.
"It was very easy to navigate through, you just put in your zip code, the portal was easy, and it really came up with a lot of opportunities," said Bolach.
Bolach is referring to localfundingfinder.com, launched by the Royal Oak based, Excelerate America.
"What we wanted to do is create an easy way for small businesses to find programs locally to them," said Excelerate America CEO Roy Lamphier.
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Roy Lamphier is the CEO of the virtual company making it his mission to help small business owners who have found themselves facing unprecedented hardships.
The portal helps to relieve some of the anxiety. In less than five seconds, it breaks down opportunities tailored to you.
"If it's a loan, what are the percentages, what are the requirements?" said Lamphier. "And then we have a vetted link to more information for that program."
"We have been approved on two of the three that we have applied for so far, so that's been wonderful," said Bolach.
With this financial support, Bolach is hopeful her business will make it through these trying times.
"I would just encourage any small business owners to use the app, to use the finder, it’s a great resource," said Bolach.
Here’s the Rebound Rundown
- Localfundingfinder.com has more than 150 grant and loan opportunities
- Each of those opportunities is personalized by your business zip code
- It's constantly updated, as expired options are removed and new ones are added.