(CBS DETROIT) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says resource deployment for small businesses must be strategic as $6.5 billion is made available through the American Rescue Plan, while small business owners say that although they’ve made it through the thick of the pandemic, the struggle is not over.

We need permanent and lasting changes to our economic policies for childcare centers and small businesses across all sectors,” said Danielle North, the owner of Kids Kingdom Childcare Center.

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Small business owner Danielle North of Kids Kingdom Childcare Center took to the podium at the Detroit Regional Small Business Summit with Whitmer to discuss ways to get the economy back on track following closures, capital shortages, and cuts to staffing in the small business community. 

Small business support and expanded access to affordable childcare is a major priority for economic recovery, according to Whitmer.

“Because right now we’ve got this unprecedented opportunity to make significant and lasting impacts on families and businesses here in Detroit and all across our state,” said Whitmer.

She says the lack of childcare has a ripple effect on the Michigan economy because parents are forced to make sacrifices to stay home and leave the workforce.

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“Most employers in this state have lost staff because of childcare challenges. As you see those help-wanted signs, we know that childcare is a barrier for many working families who want to get back in the workplace,” said Whitmer.

A recent survey by the New Economy Initiative shows 93% of businesses in Southeast Michigan have less than 10 employees, making micro-companies the foundation of the state’s economy.

Whitmer says those businesses were hit hardest in the pandemic.

86% of these micro-businesses reported being negatively impacted by the pandemic. 67% reported having less than two months cash-on-hand, and 77% stated capital was the most significant need,” said Whitmer.

For more information on small business support, visit Michigan.Gov/SmallBusiness.

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