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Small businesses in Michigan eligible for COVID-relief grants up to $15,000

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Small businesses in Michigan facing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for a grant of up to $15,000 starting Dec. 15.

The Michigan Strategic Fund approved this week the $10 million Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative which uses federal CARES Act funding.

The program will support businesses including restaurants, bars, lodging, movie theaters, live event venues, conference and meeting facilities, indoor recreation facilities, and gyms and fitness centers. 

Small Michigan businesses hit hard by the pandemic can apply for grants.

“Our priority continues to be focused on getting critically needed relief into the hands of those businesses that need it most,” MEDC CEO Mark Burton CEO said in a statement. “The Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative, along with our “Support Local” campaign, 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.”

The program is expected to help at least 670 small businesses across the state, officials said. 

To qualify, businesses must meet criteria including:

  • Be a business in one of the targeted industries.
  • Have a need for payroll, rent or mortgage payments, and/or utility expenses to continue or restart business operations.
  • Having at least two employees (including the owner) but fewer than 50.

MEDC is accepting applications through 1 p.m. Dec. 2 from nonprofit organizations interested in administering the grants. The strategic fund board also approved up to $1 million for administrative costs.

The Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative is among 20 COVID-19 relief and recovery programs the MEDC has launched aimed at supporting more than 18,500 businesses in the state.

The grant funding follows the MEDC’s “Support Local” campaign launched last week, which reminds Michigan residents of the importance of supporting local businesses through the winter. 

Michigan residents sent $18.5 billion to out-of-state retailers in 2017, according to the Michigan Retailers Association. If 10% of those sales were made in local businesses, Michigan would gain $1.2 billion in economic activity and creating 10,600 jobs, according to the association. 

Eligible small businesses can apply for the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative grant starting Dec. 15 at www.michiganbusiness.org/relief

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN