Businesses in Genesee County may get a boost thanks to an initiative launched by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce in coordination with FlintNOW and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. According to a press release issued by The Flint & Genesee of Commerce, the Moving Flint Forward initiative was launched “to address the immediate and long-term businesses development needs arising out of or magnified by the Flint water emergency.”
“This initiative is part of a long-term commitment by the Chamber to help our community emerge from this crisis stronger and healthier than before,” says Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber.
According to the press release, the focus of Moving Flint Forward is the Genesee Chamber Foundation’s new charitable fund, which was formed to provide financial support for small businesses, minority-owned businesses, North Flint redevelopment and activities that encourage tourism. The Moving Flint Forward Fund, established at the Community Foundation, will help bridge the gaps that exist between the various government sources of funds as well as address the business recovery needs that are outside the realm of health and human services.
“The Flint water crisis has led to a real call for action on several fronts,” Herman says. Unmet needs of businesses in the community have become even more apparent, as well as neighborhoods that don’t have access to products and services.
According to Herman, FlintNOW, a private-sector initiative by Tom Gores, will serve as a strategic partner to the Flint Forward Initiative. Gores grew up in Flint and recently announced a $10 million pledge to support short and long-term relief efforts in Flint. The FlintNOW Foundation was created as a cornerstone of his campaign.
Mark Barnhill, a Partner at Platinum Equity and member of the FlintNOW Board of Directors, praised the Chamber for its efforts. “It’s these types of collaborative efforts to bring people together toward a common cause that are going to make the biggest difference over the long run,” he says. The Chamber has the necessary expertise to ensure the program’s success and funds will go to the people who need it most.
“A dedicated charitable fund provides a way for the public to support this activity with their tax-deductible contributions,” says Kathi Horton, President of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.
The Community Foundation will grant monies from the Moving Flint Forward Fund to the Genesee Chamber Foundation to disburse to eligible recipients.
How you can give:
Visit Community Foundation of Greater Flint at www.fundsforflint.org. To give by check, make them payable to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and write “Moving Flint Forward Fund” on the memo line. Mail to: Community Foundation of Greater Flint, 500 S. Saginaw St. Suite 200, Flint, MI 48502.