Michigan-based CDFI delivered its highest dollar volume of PPP loans to Kent County small businesses. By Rachel Watson | Grand Rapids Business Journal – June 25, 2021
Northern Initiatives helped 10 Kent County businesses receive forgivable loans they otherwise could not get during the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and although the PPP is over, the Michigan-based lender is not done helping under-resourced small businesses.
Marquette-based Northern Initiatives (NI), a community development financial institution (CDFI), helped 87 small businesses in 36 Michigan counties get PPP loans in the first five months of 2021, 10 of which were from Kent County. The businesses ranged from restaurants to child care centers to recreation providers to clothing retailers to food trucks. Most of them were not existing loan customers of NI.
The PPP loan program created a lifeline for many during this pandemic, but it also frustrated microbusinesses, sole proprietors and farms — especially those owned by women, veterans and people of color, who did not have existing relationships with banks and needed smaller loan amounts.