(Grand Rapids, Mich. – May 6, 2020) – The Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation today announced a $200,000 contribution from the Consumers Energy Foundation to its Rapid Response Economic Relief Fund. The initiative, which has authorized 48 grants totaling $455,000 thus far, works to provide short-term, emergency financial relief to small businesses in Kent County impacted by widespread closures brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The fund continues to act as a financial bridge to small, for-profit businesses awaiting assistance from government-sponsored programs and to organizations that cannot access local, state or federal relief funds. To date, out of the 48 grants authorized, organizations receiving support are 92 percent minority-owned and 37.5 percent women-owned.
The Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation is just one of the organizations that are being supported by the Consumers Energy Foundation. In total, the Consumers Energy Foundation is donating $1.8 million to nine organizations to provide a lifeline to small businesses across Michigan – focusing in particular on helping female- and minority-owned businesses. In all, the Foundation has given over $3 million to meet the needs of Michigan residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Both the Grand Rapids Chamber and the Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation are fiercely dedicated to serving and supporting our small business community during this time,” said Grand Rapids Chamber President & CEO, Rick Baker. “We are grateful for the contribution from the Consumers Energy Foundation, as it will continue to sustain the vast need our small business community has for rapid relief, now.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and have been significantly impacted during this unprecedented time,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “Consumers Energy is committed to helping Michigan’s small business community succeed now, more than ever. We are making an investment in our communities, business owners, workers and their families, and a commitment to help power through together.”
The Consumers Energy Foundation’s contribution is part of an effort to help small business customers in this time of need. Consumers Energy is promoting a hotline, 800-805-0490, and ConsumersEnergy.com/smallbusinessrelief to provide meaningful and immediate help.
Organizations and individuals seeking to support the Rapid Response Economic Relief Fund are encouraged to do so. Individual donations can be made at www.grchamberfoundation.org, while organizations and foundations are welcome to contact Chamber Vice President Omar Cuevas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation
The Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation works to provide programming and funding that encourages free enterprise, enhances the quality of life in the Greater Grand Rapids Area, and otherwise serves as a charitable, scientific, literary, or educational source for the community.
About the Consumers Energy Foundation
The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan — its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. For more information about the Consumers Energy Foundation, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.