MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Kellie’s Consignments and Estate sales, a local Township business, was recently awarded a loan of $50,000 from the Michigan Small Business Relief Program.
Kellie’s Consignments is a charity operation and retail and consignment store, that sells a wide variety of items bought from people who may need extra cash. The money they make from these sales are put right back into the community. Each year, Kellie’s has donated over $500,000 back into the surrounding area.
Kellie Johnson, Founder and CEO of Kellie’s Consignment and Estate Sales, spoke about how much this loan will help her business stay afloat.
“I can’t even begin to tell you what it means for Kellie’s and my future as a business owner,” she said. “Without it, we were going to struggle so much that we were fearing not being able to continue after COVID.”
Due to COVID-19, Johnson’s business had been closed for three months. She had received a loan from the Payroll Protection Program which was able to help with one month’s expenses. Johnson said that the money from the Relief Program will tremendously help them dig the rest of the way out of the hole.
The Michigan Small Business Relief Program was launched by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to provide relief for small business who have been hurt by COVID-19. They have awarded a total of $10 million in grants to more than 2,700 small businesses in the state of Michigan. Also, they have awarded $4.35 million in low-interest loans to 74 business in the first round.
The Program is administered by 15 nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs), around the state covering all 83 counties. Each EDO is responsible for review applications and entering agreements with local small businesses. It is also their job to disburse grant funds.
Johnson’s loan was approved by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) who is the EDO for the Lansing tri-county region. LEAP was permitted by MEDC to award a total $600,000 in grants and another $600,000 to loan to approved businesses. LEAP’s President and CEO, Bob Trezise, spoke about how important their mission is.
“LEAP has been working tirelessly to locate and distribute desperately needed relief to local small-business owners across our three-county region—so many who are on the brink of losing their livelihoods and who are responsible for the livelihoods of others,” Trezise said. “While we know there is not nearly enough to meet the need, these loan funds will help small-business owners continue to operate during and rise back up after this crisis diminishes.”
Johnson mentioned that she fears that they might not know just how much COVID-19 has impacted them for about a year. Johnson would also like to thank the community for all their support through these hard times.