The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) yesterday approved a $100 million program that will provide grants to Michigan small businesses working to recover from the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 virus, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced. Called the Michigan Small Business Restart Program, it will support Michigan’s small businesses that are reopening and have experienced a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Governor Gretchen Whitmer said, “We can further our economic recovery in Michigan by putting federal dollars through the CARES Act to work for the people and businesses across our state through efforts like these grants.”
The MSF authorized distribution of the funding across 15 local or nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs) covering all 83 counties in the state; locally, Southwest Michigan First was allocated $7,545,455 to distribute to qualifying small businesses in the seven-county region it serves. At least 30 percent of the funds awarded under the program must be provided to women-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned eligible businesses. To qualify for grant support, businesses must meet the following criteria, based on statutory requirements for the program:
- Has 50 employees or less
- Is a business or nonprofit that can demonstrate it is affected by the COVID-19 emergency
- Needs working capital to support eligible expenses
- Demonstrates an income loss as result of the COVID-19 emergency
Has not received a grant through the Michigan Strategic Fund’s Michigan Small Business Relief Program. Businesses who have received support through other COVID-19 relief programs, including the Michigan Small Business Relief Program loans, are eligible to apply for Restart grants.
The Michigan Small Business Restart Program application will go live starting July 15 and run through August 5. Funds can be used as working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses. Small businesses should mark their calendars now.
(Brought to you by Southwest Michigan First)