Be safe. Recharge. Prepare for your comeback.

The Start Garden Comeback Fund is specifically for entrepreneurs and business owners to be able to meet their personal needs during the crisis.

Entrepreneurship is incredibly difficult, even under the best conditions. While the COVID-19 crisis has shut down our business community, it hasn’t shut down our resilience. Start Garden will help support our entrepreneurial family through this crisis with The 100 Comeback Fund. Whether an established business or a newer startup, you can qualify for support.

The 100 Comeback is not a small business relief fund. Rather it’s a grant to support the personal needs of entrepreneurs to be safe, care for their families and prepare for their comeback.

We need our entrepreneurial family to be strong and ready to rebuild our economy when this crisis is over. Entrepreneurs carry a compound burden of providing for their families with the uncertainty of how to reopen and rehire after this crisis. In addition:

  • Entrepreneurs often defer paying themselves to grow their businesses.
  • Entrepreneurs can’t lay themselves off to collect unemployment.
  • Federal & state business relief loans are for reopening a business, but don’t relieve business owners and their families that find themselves at risk right now.

Who qualifies for The 100 Comeback Fund?
Current business owners who:

  • Have a demonstrated personal need.
  • Can verify their business was shut down or severely impacted as a result of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order.
  • Can verify the business has a loyal customer base.
  • Are located (or have a registered address) in Kent County OR have been selected in the past to participate in The Start Garden 100 or 5x5 Night.

Any business that fits the above criteria is encouraged to apply. Furthermore, additional allocations are available for minority- and women-owned businesses and tech companies that are connected with the Grand Rapids SmartZone.

How do you apply?
All applications must be submitted between Tuesday, April 7 at 8 am until Saturday, April 11 at noon. First, entrepreneurs complete an application. Then, record and upload a 100-second video that answers 3 simple questions:

  1. What’s your household’s immediate need to get through the next few months? (Note: we are NOT asking you to open your business right away. Instead, take the time needed to be safe, navigate this new business landscape and plan for the future).
  2. Tell us about your business. How long has it been open? What do you make or service? Who are your customers?
  3. How has the COVID-19 shut down impacted you/your business?