Traverse Connect and Venture North have received a $200,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation supporting the Regional Resiliency Fund, which will provide grants of up to $5,000 to small businesses in Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is donating $1.8 million to nine organizations to provide a lifeline to small businesses across Michigan. In all, the Foundation has given more than $3 million to meet the needs of Michigan residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and have been significantly impacted during this unprecedented time,” says 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 grant will support the Regional Resiliency Fund, a joint program of Traverse Connect and Venture North, providing grants of up to $5,000 to small businesses in Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties. A grant application and contribution form will be available soon on the Traverse Connect website.

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 to provide meaningful and immediate help.

“Traverse Connect and Venture North are grateful for the grant support provided by the Consumers Energy Foundation and its continued commitment to the Grand Traverse Region’s small business community,” says Warren Call, president and CEO of Traverse Connect. “The new Regional Resiliency Fund will support our small business owners and their employees who are facing unprecedented challenges. Thanks to the lead donation from the Consumers Energy Foundation, the Regional Resiliency Fund will make an immediate impact on our rural communities.”

Photo(s) by David Weidner