The Regional Resiliency Fund distributes $44,000 in grant funds to support 25 small businesses in Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.

A bakery, a shoe store, a winery and a fitness center. These are just four of 25 businesses in Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties that received a total of $44,000 in the fourth grant round from the Regional Resiliency Fund. The Regional Resiliency Fund was founded by Venture North Funding and Development in May 2020 to provide grants to businesses with nine or fewer employees to offset the impacts of the pandemic. To date, the Resiliency Fund has made 139 grants to small businesses amounting to $348,515 in the three counties.

Funding for this round of grants was provided to Venture North by the DTE Energy Foundation and the Urgent Needs Fund administered by the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation.

“Our priorities reflect the urgent needs of the grant applications,” says Laura Galbraith, executive director of Venture North. “And those are safety for employees and customers, keeping businesses open and pivoting to develop revenue in a way that reflects customer preferences to avoid exposure to infection.

“With Labor Day behind us, we need to redouble efforts to support these small businesses that shape the economy and quality of life of communities in the region. This grant round responded to businesses hurt by COVID-19 in Traverse City, Frankfort, Acme, Leland, Suttons Bay and other communities. The continued resolve of these businesses to weather the immense storm of the pandemic warrants our collective support.”

Galbraith says that the majority of businesses of this size did not receive federal stimulus funding for a number of reasons.

“In addition to funds available through the Resiliency Fund, we hoped to provide assistance to small businesses to seek financial assistance through renewed stimulus funding focused on their needs,” she says. “If policymakers want evidence of need, we’ve received requests for well over six figures from our region’s business owners. The Regional Resiliency Fund’s local team of volunteers provide us with grassroots, ground-level feedback from small businesses about the realities of the challenges they face, including survival.”

Round Four Regional Resiliency Fund Grantees

Benzie County

  • Conundrum Cafe, Inc.
  • FrankZ LLC

Grand Traverse County

  • Lilies of The Alley
  • Old Mission Inn
  • Fox and Fern Events LLC
  • Bonobo Winery
  • Nifty Things, LLC
  • Great Lakes Treats
  • Plamondon Shoes
  • Epic Power LLC DBA Epic Powersports
  • Sweet Tartlette
  • Northern Michigan Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • Old Mission Multigrain LLC (Old Mission Bakery)
  • Salon 804
  • Old Yeller, LLC (DBA Press On Juice)
  • RJTM Investments, Inc. d/b/a HoneyBaked Ham
  • Glitz & Spurs (Putting on the Glitz LLC)
  • Idea Stream
  • Forrest, A Food Studio & Private Chef
  • JournEase Travel

Leelanau County

  • Lakeview Hill Farm
  • New Moon Yoga LLC
  • MI Market LLC
  • Lucamati LLC dba Flea Suttons Bay

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner