Michigan’s small businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 virus will be able to apply for grants of up to $15,000 through the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative beginning at 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday, December 15, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today. The program will utilize $10 million in federal U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) CARES Act funding to provide economic assistance to small businesses across Michigan.
The program 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 & 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.
Grants will be awarded in the amount of up to $15,000 per eligible business on a “first-in” basis. Information on how to apply – including application questions and instructions and a video tutorial on the application process – as well as eligibility criteria and program guidelines are available at www.michiganbusiness.org/relief.
“The Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative puts federal funding to work for many of the small businesses in Michigan hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “My administration will continue working to support our small businesses and their employees as they continue to navigate and persevere through this pandemic, through the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative and all of the COVID-19 business relief efforts MEDC has implemented this year. As we head into the holiday season, I also want to remind Michiganders to support your favorite local businesses by shopping small. (And) as always, mask up, practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently.”
Approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund on Nov. 30, the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative allocates $10 million of federal CARES Act funding to provide support to Michigan’s small businesses that have experienced a loss of income as a result of both the COVID-19 crisis and the recent DHHS epidemic orders, which were recently extended to December 20.
MEDC has selected the Michigan Municipal League (MML) Foundation as the single, statewide grant administrator for the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative. MML Foundation will review submitted applications from all 10 prosperity regions across the state once the application window opens on December 15.
“The Michigan Municipal League Foundation is excited to serve as the administrator of the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief grant program,” said Helen Davis Johnson, president of the MML Foundation.
“These grants aim to support job retention in small businesses particularly impacted by the recent three-week shutdown caused by COVID-19,” Johnnson added. “Small businesses are key to building community wealth, and the League is committed to supporting these activities and more in Michigan communities.”
Funds will be awarded on a first-in basis and the application window for small businesses will close once the targeted allocations within each of the state’s prosperity regions are reasonably expected to be met. The table below provides funding allocations per prosperity region.
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;
Be a for-profit business, per HUD guidance;
Meet the HUD National Objective for Job Retention by retaining jobs that would otherwise be lost without assistance through employment verification;
Additional eligibility requirements can be found on 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.
These federal CARES Act dollars were distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Michigan Community Development Block Grant program. A complete list of Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative grant recipients will be posted to michiganbusiness.org/relief.
In further support of Michigan’s small businesses and their employees, MEDC launched a new “Support Local” campaign in November, reminding Michiganders of the importance of supporting local businesses during the upcoming holidays and throughout the winter season. As efforts continue to combat the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the campaign is intended to inspire Michiganders to shop, eat and travel safely in their own neighborhoods and downtowns during the holiday season and beyond.
“We remain focused on getting critically-needed relief into the hands of those businesses that need it most,” said MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton.
“The Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative builds on our commitment to getting funds to small businesses across Michigan and creating a strong foundation for the success of Michigan’s workers and economy,” Burton added.
In total, the MEDC has now launched 20 COVID-19 relief and recovery programs that have supported more than 18,500 businesses in the state and helped to retain nearly 147,000 jobs across all 83 counties. To learn more about MEDC’s COVID-19 response programs and the impact they are having on economic recovery efforts, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19response. Other resources for economic reopening efforts as well as businesses across Michigan struggling with economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19.