Grant money available for Michigan small businesses struggling amidst COVID-19 pandemic

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)  Financial help is on the way for Michigan small businesses. It will come in the form of $10 million grants that will soon be available to help meet the urgent needs of small businesses disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The grants are available through funds from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative will utilize federal CARES Act funding to award grants of up to $15,000 to more than 650 small businesses across Michigan.

“As we continue to take necessary precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19, many of Michigan’s small businesses are experiencing additional strain, particularly now during the holiday season and heading into winter,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “We are fully committed to supporting our small businesses and their employees across the state as they navigate and persevere through this pandemic. By putting this federal funding to work, we can provide immediate assistance to those businesses hardest-hit by the pandemic. As we continue fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, I will continue to listen to medical experts and do everything in my power to protect our families, frontline workers, and small businesses.”

Following the approval, MEDC is now accepting applications through 1 p.m. today, Wednesday, December 2, for eligible nonprofit organizations interested in administering the grants. Interested organizations may submit their application at www.michiganbusiness.org/relief . The application period for small businesses seeking grants will begin on Tuesday, December 15.

The Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative is intended to meet the urgent need of Michigan businesses including restaurants and bars, lodging providers, live event venues and movie theaters, conference and meeting facilities, indoor recreation facilities, and gyms and fitness centers. The grants under the program will support those businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce and may be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, or utility expenses.

The program will provide a total of $10 million to one or more qualified grant administrators, who will administer and allocate grants of up to $15,000 each to eligible businesses around the state. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To qualify for grant support, businesses must meet a number of criteria, including but not limited to:

  • Being a business in one of the targeted industries;
  • Identifying a need for payroll, rent, or mortgage payments, and/or utility expenses necessary to continue or restart business operations;
  • Having at least two employees (including the owner) but fewer than 50;
  • Additional eligibility requirements can be found on www.michiganbusiness.org/relief

In addition, applicants will be required to self-certify that they are following all state and local orders related to COVID-19, including, but not limited to, those issued by DHHS and county health departments. For the full list of requirements visit: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98178_98455-545136–,00.html

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