Michigan Small Businesses Are Eligible for New Grant Funds

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of small businesses at risk of failure. Many of them have already had to close their doors for good. Others continue to struggle in the tough economy. Even as the vaccines for COVID-19 are slowly being distributed, ongoing high rates of infection, economic uncertainty and political problems around the United States have made it difficult for small business owners to conduct their normal operations. The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program opens at 9:00 am on January 19, and small business owners can begin applying for additional grant funds.

About the Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program

This round of funding for the Michigan Small Business Survival Grant program will provide $2.5 million in grants to meet urgent needs of small business owners in the northwest area of Michigan. Those business owners who have experienced serious financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 emergency closures and public health guidance are eligible to apply for the grant funds.

How Much Money Small Business Owners in Michigan Can Get

The Northwest Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Collaborative will issue grant funds in the amount of $20,000 to businesses that have had to close. Grant funds up to $15,000 are available to businesses that had to partly close or that were open the whole time of the pandemic but had a serious economic impact on their sales.

What Northwest Michigan Small Business Owners Need to Do to Get the Grants

The application period for the Michigan Small Business Survival Grant program begins on January 19. It closes on January 22 at 12:00 pm. All of the applications must be entered online at the website www.michiganbusiness.org/survival. The funds will be issued on basis of meeting the objective criteria described in the grant application's documentation. The applications will be reviewed by local and state business leaders.

Other Grants Available to Small Business Owners in Michigan

This is not the only grant fund available to small business owners in Michigan. The state's strategic fund is offering a $3.5 million grant called the Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program. This program will award up to $40,000 in one-time grants for eligible live music and entertainment venues anywhere in the state of Michigan. It is for venues that have had a serious financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting public health regulations. To be eligible for the $40,000 in grant funds, a Michigan small business owner must have had between one and 100 employees as of November 17, 2020. Their business must be in an industry that was affected by the Department of Health and Human Services' epidemic orders. The business must also provide proof that it is in need of working capital in order to handle its payroll expenses, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, purchase of personal protective equipment or other related expenses. To get these funds, the business owner also has to demonstrate how they lost income as a result of the orders from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. They cannot be a business that is already eligible for the Michigan Stage Survival program.

How the Grant Applications Will Be Evaluated

The evaluation process will be conducted by the Northwest Small Business Survival Grant Collaborative. It will score all of the applications. The collaborative is an umbrella organization. Its members include Northwest Small Business Development Center, Networks Northwest, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce, Traverse Connect, Alliance for Economic Success and Northwest Michigan Works. One of the CEOs of these organizations said that the financial impact of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' pandemic orders has been high in the area because of the high concentration of businesses that rely on in-person services. He recognizes that the demand for grant funds will be higher than the availability of grant funds. He is pleased that some dollars are coming through to help the local businesses.

Other Ways Michigan Business Owners Can Get Help

There are many local, state and federal resources for small business owners. Business owners who have been negatively affected by COVID-19 and the related closures and public health mandates should visit www.michiganbusiness.org/COVID19. This resource offers information and links to local, state and national resources that could be of benefit to sole proprietors, limited liability corporations, other small businesses and nonprofit organizations in the state.

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