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Grants will help 30 Flint businesses get through the city's water crisis

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
The grants were announced during an event at Flint's Berston Field House

A new grant program is giving a hand to 30 Flint businesses struggling to recover from the economic effects of the city’s drinking water crisis.

The businesses range from a Coney Island to a beauty shop.      

Anthony Artis is an art dealer.He says the grant will ‘breathe new life” into his business, which sells art as far away as Boston.

“Everywhere we go where they sell art works I tell them, be sure to add the name of our collection,” says Artis, “and let them know we’re from Flint, Michigan. Because we want to be part of the change of being positive in our community.”

Detroit Pistons owner and Flint native Tom Gores, along with Huntington Bank, created the Moving Flint Forward fund in March as part of a $25 million economic development program.

Jim Dunlap with Huntington Bank says amid all the talk about helping Flint with its drinking water crisis, something was missing. Where’s the economic impact?

“Just like people, (businesses), from time to time, need help getting from this point to this point,” says Dunlap. “That payroll or two could spell the difference between their survival or going out of business.”

Dunlap says they are patterning this small business program on similar efforts in other communities, like in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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