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Local Economy, Businesses See Impact of Grants

The Lansing-area economy is starting to see the impacts and benefits of the grants and financial assistance awarded to a number of local businesses over the past few months.

Lansing Economic Area Partnership President and CEO Bob Trezise and LEAP’s effort to provide relief funds for small businesses has or will shortly infuse $1.75 million to $2 million into the local economy across Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties.

“We are particularly proud that we did this in but a few short weeks and that 100% of these funds went directly to local, small businesses,” Trezise said.

Eaton Theatre owner Leann Owen said her business was one of the 60 companies chosen from a group of 2,000 to receive the Michigan Small Business Relief Program grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. through LEAP.

“We have focused our theater on being affordable for the community, and we offer many events and free movies for kids and families. This grant has helped tremendously with our fixed expenses,” Owen said.

REACH Studio Art Center Director Alice Brinkman said they received the same grant, which has allowed them to maintain employees and pay for operational costs like utilities.

“The grant has bridged a gap in lost revenue from COVID-19 program cancellations, and for this I am very grateful,” Brinkman said. “It has provided a little peace of mind while I work on other strategies to make sure REACH survives this crisis and can once again welcome in-person creative activity in our spaces.”