Michigan-based small businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 virus may submit their applications for grants of up to $15,000 through the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15. The program will utilize $10 million in federal U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) CARES Act funding to provide economic assistance to small businesses across Michigan.
Grants will be awarded in the amount of up to $15,000 per eligible business on a “first-in” basis. Information on how to apply – including application questions and instructions and a video tutorial on the application process – as well as eligibility criteria and program guidelines are available at www.michiganbusiness.org/relief/. Businesses planning to apply are encouraged to create their Connect Space account in advance of the application going live.
The program is intended to meet the urgent need of Michigan businesses including restaurants and bars, lodging providers, live event venues and movie theaters, conference and meeting facilities, indoor recreation facilities, and gyms and fitness centers. The grants under the program will support those businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce and may be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, or utility expenses.
MEDC has selected the Michigan Municipal League (MML) Foundation as the single, statewide grant administrator for the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative. MML Foundation will review submitted applications from all 10 prosperity regions across the state once the application window opens on December 15. Funds will be awarded on a first-in basis and the application window for small businesses will close once the targeted allocations within each of the state’s prosperity regions are reasonably expected to be met.
To qualify for grant support, businesses must meet a number of criteria, including but not limited to:
- Being a business in one of the targeted industries;
- Identifying a need for payroll, rent, or mortgage payments, and/or utility expenses necessary to continue or restart business operations;
- Having at least two employees (including the owner) but fewer than 50;
- Be a for-profit business, per HUD guidance;
- Meet the HUD National Objective for Job Retention by retaining jobs that would otherwise be lost without assistance through employment verification;
- Additional eligibility requirements can be found here.
In addition, applicants will be required to self-certify that they are following all state and local orders related to COVID-19, including, but not limited to, those issued by DHHS and county health departments.
These federal CARES Act dollars were distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Michigan Community Development Block Grant program. A complete list of Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative grant recipients will be posted to michiganbusiness.org/relief.