LANSING — The Michigan Strategic Fund on Monday approved a $10 million grant program to help small businesses stay afloat during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative will use federal CARES Act funding to award grants of up to $15,000 to at least 670 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,” Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a release.
“By putting this federal funding to work, we can provide immediate assistance to those businesses hardest-hit by the pandemic.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is accepting applications through 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 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 Dec. 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 and the application window for small businesses will close once the targeted allocations within each of the state’s 10 prosperity regions are reasonably expected to be met.
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 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. The Michigan Strategic Fund board also approved up to $1 million for administrative costs.