LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — 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 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 15.
The program will use $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. Full information on how to apply as well as eligibility criteria and program guidelines are available here. Businesses planning to apply are encouraged to create their Connect Space account in advance of the application going live.
“We remain focused on getting critically-needed relief into the hands of those businesses that need it most,” said MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton. “The Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative builds on our commitment to getting funds to small businesses across Michigan and creating a strong foundation for the success of Michigan’s workers and economy.”
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.
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 on michiganbusiness.org/relief.
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.
The 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 here.