The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved two grant programs – the Michigan Small Business Survival Grants and the Michigan Stages Survival Grants – totaling $58.5 million in relief to help meet the urgent needs of small businesses and live event venues impacted by the COVID-19 virus, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced.

The State of Michigan appropriated the funds through SB 748, signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Dec. 29, to implement the programs to support Michigan’s small businesses that have been especially impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program will provide $55 million in grants to meet the urgent need of Michigan small businesses that have experienced a significant financial hardship due to the recent COVID-19 emergency “gatherings and face mask orders.” Grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to businesses that are fully closed, with grants of up to $15,000 awarded to businesses that have been partially closed, or otherwise are open and can demonstrate an impact.

MSF also approved the $3.5 million Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program, which will provide up to $40,000 in one-time grants to eligible Michigan live music and entertainment venues that have experienced a significant financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan Small Business Survival Grants to provide critical relief

The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program is intended to meet the urgent need of Michigan businesses who have experienced a significant financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency “gatherings and face mask order” issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in December 2020.

The Michigan Small Business Survival Grants will be administered by 15 local or nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs) covering all 83 counties across the state. A single, statewide application for the program will be live at michiganbusiness.org/survival on 9:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, January 19 through 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST on Friday, January 22. Grants will be reviewed and awarded by the EDOs based on eligibility requirements and local priorities and objectives, not on a first-come, first-served basis.

Businesses must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Had 1 to 100 employees (including full-time, part-time and owner/employees) on a world-wide basis on November 17, 2020.
  • Is in an industry that demonstrates it is affected by the DHHS epidemic orders.
  • Needs working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses.
  • Can demonstrate an income loss as a result of the Order as determined by the EDO in which an eligible business is located.
  • Is not a live music and entertainment venue that is eligible for the Michigan Stage Survival grant program.

Individual EDOs may have additional eligibility requirements, which businesses will be able to access from the michiganbusiness.org/survival landing page. EDOs will also have discretion on grant awards up to the maximum of $20,000 for businesses that are fully closed and $15,000 to businesses that have been partially closed, or otherwise are open and can demonstrate an impact.

The michiganbusiness.org/survival landing page will also provide businesses with resources to prepare their application, including the application questions and a tutorial video detailing all steps.

Businesses must have an account set up in ConnectSpace to submit an application, also linked on the landing page, which can be established prior to applying. For the convenience of applicants, an electronic queue system will also be in effect once again with businesses entering the queue prior to entry into the application. Businesses will be able to sign up to receive an alert when they have reached the front of the queue, and all applicants who are in the queue by 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST on Friday, January 22 will have an opportunity to complete the application and be considered for funding.

View the full announcement from the MEDC for more information on the Survival Grant Program and more details for entertainment venues on the Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program.