Over the past 19 months, the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with Saginaw Future Inc., to assist in getting valuable information and resources to our business community to help them through the pandemic shutdown of 2020 and early 2021.
During that time, we assisted with distribution of grants through the federal and state government, as well as generous contributions from Dow and Consumers Energy.
And now the work continues with the recent announcement of federal dollars to come to the City and County of Saginaw through the American Rescue Plan.
Short-term focus would be to provide equitable, objective, and efficacious financial support to small businesses in Saginaw County that experienced financial hardship due to Covid-19 to be administered by Saginaw Future.
The long-term top priority focus would turn to investments in infrastructure to support a transformational medical hub along Washington Ave., in the City of Saginaw. This includes a $10 million ask from the County of Saginaw, $10 million from the City of Saginaw, $2.5 million from the State of Michigan and $2.5 million from the federal government.
Another top priority is to partner with Michigan Chapter of Connected Nation and other stimulus funding for connectivity at schools and libraries and private sector telecom players to bring in new infrastructure and fill service gaps with broadband. We anticipate that using $5 million dollars.
We are also supporting Saginaw Future’s request for $333,000 per year for 3-years. SFI has a long history of creating highly successful public-private partnerships, a deep network of resource and grant administration expertise. This is the organization that can help to deploy these funds quickly, equitably, and strategically to those most deeply impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, while also positioning the county for a sustainable long-term recovery.
The Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce has our own history of supporting the experts in our region. Saginaw Future is exceptional and is worth supporting. We lend our expertise in helping to identify the focus on priorities that we believe will provide a long-term economic success for Saginaw County and the Great Lakes Bay Region.
Veronica Horn, President & CEO, Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce