$55 Million in Grants Available to Small Businesses in Michigan For COVID Help

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Facing financial hardships and other burdens from the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses in Michigan can apply for $55 million in grants to gain some relief.

The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program will provide the funding to meet the urgent need across the state for businesses that have experienced a significant financial hardship due to the recent COVID-19 emergency “gatherings and face mask orders.” Grants up to $20,000 will be awarded to businesses that are fully closed, along with grants of up to $15,000 bestowed to businesses that have been partially closed, or otherwise are open and can show an impact.

The funding is part of grant programs approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund. The MSF also approved the $3.5 million Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program. That effort is providing up to $40,000 in one-time grants to eligible Michigan live music and entertainment venues that faced major financial hardship from COVID-19.

The grants could assist Black-owned businesses in Michigan, including those in Detroit. Multiple reports show the pandemic has been substantially harder on Black small businesses than others. Some 7.5 million small businesses may be at risk of closing permanently, according to a survey published by Main Street America.

The new funds were appropriated after a bill was signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Dec. 29 to apply the programs to support Michigan’s small businesses especially impacted by the pandemic.

“From the beginning, my administration has been deeply committed to providing some crucial support to Michigan’s small businesses that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Whitmer.

“With these grant programs, we can provide immediate assistance to those businesses. As we work to distribute the safe and effective vaccine and end the pandemic once and for all, I will continue to partner with leaders across the state to provide relief for our small businesses and their employees.”

The Michigan Small Business Survival Grants will be administered by 15 local or nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs) covering all 83 counties across the state. The application time frame will run from 9 a.m. Jan. 19 to noon Jan. 22 at www.michiganbusiness.org/survival. Grants will be reviewed and awarded by the EDOs based on eligibility requirements, and not on a first-come, first-served basis.

For businesses to qualify, they must meet these requirements:

  • Had 1 to 100 employees (including full-time, part-time and owner/employees) on a worldwide basis on November 17, 2020.
  • Is in an industry that demonstrates it is affected by the DHHS epidemic orders.
  • Needs working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses.
  • Can demonstrate an income loss as a result of the Order as determined by the EDO in which an eligible business is located.
  • Is not a live music and entertainment venue that is eligible for the Michigan Stage Survival grant program.