State News

Who qualifies: $15,000 Michigan grants will offset Covid pinch on small businesses

December 01, 2020, 9:35 AM

Michigan will ease the pandemic pain felt by small businesses with grants of up to $15,000 this winter. 

The aid is for employers with two to 49 workers in industries listed below. A total of $9.75 million from the federal CARES Act will go to 650 eligible owners, who can apply Dec. 15. Speed matters because recipients will be chosen on a first-come basis.

Metro Detroit gets the largest chunk -- $3.55 million for small operators in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb.

Another $250,000 is for nonprofits that will administer the program for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

"Many of Michigan’s small businesses are experiencing additional strain, particularly now during the holiday season and heading into winter," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says in a statement. "By putting this federal funding to work, we can provide immediate assistance to those businesses hardest-hit."

The money is to "meet urgent working capital needs, including payroll expenses, rent or mortgage payments and utility expenses," MEDC says. Grants are for these sectors:

  • Restaurants, bars and other food/beverage providers

  • Live event sites and movie theaters

  • Ice rinks, indoor water parks, bowling centers

  • Gyms and fitness centers

  • Conference and meeting facilities

  • Lodging and tourism facilities

Home-based firms are ineligible. Applicants must have annual gross revenues above $25,000, multiple clients or customers, and no bankruptcy filing since 2010.

The MEDC, a public-private partnership, posts more information and a one-page FAQs summary. No online application exists yet.

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