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Tools for a Safe, Responsible Return to Work

As Berrien County businesses prepared to return to work safely, it's important you have the right guidance and equipment to protect employees, customers and yourselves.  Below is a Resource Guide that provides tips from the Center for Disease Control, Spectrum Health Lakeland and other reputable sources for a safe return.  Also below are local companies with the capacity to supply personal protection equipment (PPE) for your business and employees.

 spectrum plan

Employer Toolkit by Spectrum Health Lakeland 

Spectrum Health's guidance to Southwest Michigan businesses as they adapt to operating in a new environment with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Employer Toolkit will help businesses, no matter where they are in the process, whether it is navigating reopening to the community, welcoming employees back on-site or adapting to a new environment. The guide includes expert tips, best practices, checklists and ready-to-use signage and more. The Employer Toolkit can be found by clicking on the photo to the right or by clicking here.



Resource Guide for a Safe Reopeningp1 of corona guide

Southwest Michigan’s economic vitality is critical to the health and prosperity of its residents.  Cornerstone Alliance has created a working guide to assist local businesses in fully reopening in a safe, organized and effective manner.  The specific recommendations in each category support the overall goal of opening businesses in a way that protects employees and customers from exposure to COVID-19 and to prevent spreading of the virus.  This Guide for a safe reopening will be updated based on the most current guidance available from local, state and federal resources.  You can access the Resource Guide here.



Journeyman Distillery (hand sanitizer)Sanitizer Journeyman

Journeyman Distillery, located in Three Oaks, has been producing hand sanitizer since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The company's efforts were featured in Time Magazine and they continue to provide hand sanitizer to the general public.  Those interested in the product can go to the web site (here), can call (269) 820-2050 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You can purchase in person at their Three Oaks location from Noon to 5 p.m. on weekdays or from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.


 Face Shield V3 Edgewater

Edgewater Automation (face shields and thermometers)

Edgewater Automation, based in St. Joseph, manufactures custom automation equipment.  The company has been producing custom face shields for first responders since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Edgewater Automation can produce face shields for Berrien County businesses as they reopen.  The company also has access to no-touch thermometers.  These products can be secured by calling Jacob Brown, HR Manager. Jacob can be reached at (269) 408-4056 or via email.


  Stay Safe Hands Free Option 2

Competitive Edge (personal protection equipment)

Based in Stevensville, Competitive Edge has an entire selection of items and equipment needed for a safe return to work.  You can visit the "Welcome Back, We're Open" web page for available inventory or the Personal Protection Equipment page here.  You can also call them at (877) 429-0404 or by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Doubleday Office Products (personal protection equipment)

Benton Harbor's Doubleday Office Products has personal protection equipment for office, industrial and commercial customers.  Doubleday is manufacturing custom-built sneeze guards.  For additional information on PPE from Doubleday, you can reach them by phone at (269) 926-8293 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Thayer Products (personal protection equipment)

Thayer Products, based in downtown Benton Harbor, has been in the janitorial, chemical, paper, and safety supply business since 1946.  Thayer has gloves, masks, shields, sleeves, aprons, bouffants, disinfectants, sanitizers and paper goods of all kinds.  For information on Thayer products, you should call them at (269) 925-0633.


Eagle Technologies (medical and personal protection equipment)

Eagle Technologies is producing medical testing units, workstations and protective equipment for the medical industry, industrial customers and the general public.  Eagle Technologies is able to provide face shields for any use.  If you are interested in any of these products, you can reach out to Eagle Technologies by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling (269) 465-2200.



ADAMS & Son Heating and Cooling (PPE Stations)adams

Based in Sodus, ADAMS & Son Heating and Cooling has taken an innovative approach to an all-in-one PPE workstation.  These workstations provide easy access to PPE for employees and can be purchased by calling (269) 927-3766 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  






Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund 

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation partnered with Michigan Women Forward to create the $1.5 million Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund which will provide recovery grants of $1,000-$5,000 and microloans of $5,000-$10,000 to small businesses who are in need and have been adversely affected by COVID-19 closures, with at least 150 businesses statewide expected to benefit. Small businesses interested in applying for support through the Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund can do so now by visiting here


MIOSHA MIWISH Grant Programmiosha 2017

The MIOSHA Workplace Improvement to Safety and Health (MIWISH) Grant Program awards qualifying employers a dollar-for-dollar match – up to $5,000 – to purchase safety and health-related equipment and equipment-related training. The goal of the program is to create a safer and healthier work environment and reduce the risk of injury and illness to workers in Michigan. Apply here. 


Sam's Club Small Business Grant 

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will provide grants up to $10,000 through a Sam's Club grant. This emergency assistance is what small businesses desperately need. LISC will focus these efforts on historically underserved communities—especially those enterprises owned or led by women, minorities and veterans, which often lack access to affordable capital. Register here to receive updates about this grant information. 


Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will use the Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of Covid-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. Register here to stay up-to-date on the latest information. 



Restaurant Industry Relief Grants 

The Restaurant Strong Fundrestaurant strong logo

Samuel Adams and The Greg Hill Foundation are bringing the successful Restaurant Strong Fund to 20 total states to aid the restaurant workers impacted by the Covid-19 closures. Restaurants in Michigan can apply for the Restaurant Strong grant here.



CORE: Children of Restaurant EmployeesCoreColorx500

As the world faces the biggest pandemic in our lifetime, CORE wants to continue their mission to provide support to food and beverage service employees, with children, who have been medically diagnosed with COVID-19. Documentation is required. You can find more information and an application here. 





SBA Disaster Loan Assistance SBA logo

Businesses in Michigan have access to low-interest loans for small businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. To apply, you can locate the online application here. If you prefer to submit your application by mail, please print, complete and return your application. 

Need help completing the SBA application?  This YouTube video gives step-by-step details.

Disaster Loan Application Resources 

Disaster Loan Application Paper Forms

The Three Step Application Process

Supplemental Disaster Loan Information

SBA Disaster Assistance Resources for Businesses

Michigan SBA Office Contact 



The Main Street Loan Program (US Treasury and Federal Reserve)

federal reserve logo

The Federal Reserve is taking additional actions to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the U.S. economy with the creation of a Main Street Lending Program (Main Street Program) to provide financing to lenders that make direct loans to main street businesses. The Federal Reserve will work with banks to give out up to $600 billion in four-year loans. These loans would be at least $1 million and could go up to a maximum of $25 million. This emergency loan program will support small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the pandemic and that may be too small to access broader capital markets or the Federal Reserve’s facilities supporting larger corporates, or that may not qualify for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program.  More information on the program can be found here.











Microloan Program Infographic Final


Cornerstone Alliance Microloan Program 


Cornerstone Alliance is an SBA intermediary that provides microloan funding for small businesses. Microloans are available for $500 to $50,000 to businesses located in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties. Microloans can be combined with the SBA EIDL loan program. If you have an existing microloan, you may be eligible for additional financial assistance under the microloan program. For more information about the microloan program, contact Dubelsa Mata-Garcia at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




The Microloan Program and Women’s Business Center are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All SBA programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made requested at least two weeks in advance. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs). Cornerstone Alliance and the Renaissance Development Fund are equal opportunity providers and employers.  





COVID-19 Government Guidance 


Congressman Fred UptonFred Upton 113th Congress photo

Coronavirus resource guides from Congressman Upton: 

Coronavirus Resources for Southwest Michigan

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Paycheck Protection Program and Loan Forgiveness 

Direct Financial Assistance

Coronavirus Stimulus Bill for Education Professionals, Families and Individuals 



State Senator Kim LaSataKim LaSata Headshot

Senator LaSata was elected in November 2018 to represent the people of the 21st Senate District in Southwest Michigan, which includes Berrien, Cass, and St. Joseph Counties. 

Latest news from Senator LaSata:

Open MI Safely - Senate Republican Plan

Southwest Michigan businesses tell of impact from state’s COVID-19 response - June 3, 2020

LaSata bill to help villages deal with delinquent taxes  - May 27, 2020

Supporting addtional funding for front-line workers, others affected by COVID-19 - May 13, 2020



State Representative Pauline WendzelPauline Wendzel Headshot Website

State Representative Pauline Wendzel represents the 79th District, which includes part of Berrien County including the cities of Coloma, St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, Bridgman and Watervliet, as well as the townships of Bainbridge, Benton, Coloma, Hagar, Lake Charter, Lincoln, Royalton, St. Joseph and Watervliet. Representative Wendzel recently supported a $25 million emergency budget action plan addressing challenges due to Coronavirus.  

Coronavirus resources from Representative Wendzel:

Latest Michigan updates, new cases and resources 

How to protect yourself, and what to do if you're sick 



Governor Gretchen WhitmerGretchen Whitmer Headshot

In the News: 

MI Safe Start Plan 

Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Extending Capacity for Disaster Relief Child Care Services for Essential Workforce

Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Orders Reopening More Regions, Economic Sectors Under MI Safe Start Plan

Governor Whitmer Rolls Back COVID-19 Executive Orders on FOIA, Hospital Capacity, and Ambulances, MDHHS Loosens Visitation Rules in Hospitals

Governor Whitmer Rescinds Safer at Home Order, Moves Michigan to Phase Four of the MI Safe Start Plan


Guidance for Individuals to determine if they can leave home.

Guidance for Businesses to determine who can perform in-person work.

Visit the Department of Homeland Security web page (here) for details on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce definitions (pdf). 

Unemployment Benefits 

Headspace - Stay Home, Stay MIndful