Nearly $60M in State Grants Available for Small Businesses and Venues Impacted by COVID-19

The Michigan Strategic Fund in Lansing Thursday approved two grant programs — the Michigan Small Business Survival Grants and the Michigan Stages Survival Grants — totaling $58.8 million in relief for small businesses and live event venues impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.
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The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved the Michigan Small Business Survival Grants and the Michigan Stages Survival Grants programs. // Stock photo

The Michigan Strategic Fund in Lansing Thursday approved two grant programs — the Michigan Small Business Survival Grants and the Michigan Stages Survival Grants — totaling $58.8 million in relief for small businesses and live event venues impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.

The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program will provide $55 million in grants to meet the need of Michigan small businesses that have experienced a significant financial hardship due to emergency gathering and face mask orders.

Grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to businesses that are fully closed, and grants of up to $15,000 will be awarded to businesses that have been partially closed or are open and can demonstrate an impact.

The funds will be administered by 15 local or nonprofit economic development organizations covering all 83 counties across the state. A single, statewide application for the program will be live here from 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19 through noon on Friday, Jan. 22.

Grants will be awarded based on eligibility requirements and local priorities and objectives, not a first-come, first serviced basis.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Had 1-100 employees on a worldwide basis on Nov. 17, 2020.
  • Is in an industry that demonstrates it was affected by the 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 pandemic-related orders as determined by the economic development organizations 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 economic development organizations may have additional eligibility requirements, which applicants will be able to access from the landing page listed above. The organizations will have discretion on grant awards up to the maximum of $20,000 or $15,000.

Ann Arbor Spark will distribute $4.7 million to businesses in Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, and Washtenaw counties.

Oakland County will distribute more than $6 million to businesses in the county, and Macomb County will distribute $4.15 million to businesses in the county. The Detroit Economic Growth Corp. will distribute $8.55 million to businesses in Wayne County.

The $3.5 million Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program will provide up to $40,000 in one-time grants to eligible live music and entertainment venues that have experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic. The funds are to be used to support payroll, rent, mortgage, utilities, or costs related to reopening.

The application will be available here starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21 through noon on Thursday, Jan. 28. The Michigan Independent Venue and Promoter Association will be responsible for accepting, reviewing, and approving applications by Feb. 28. The MEDC will distribute grant funds based on the recommendation of the association.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Be located in Michigan.
  • Produce and/or present live, disciplined-based performance experiences.
  • Demonstrate at least 33 percent of 2019 gross revenues area from the sale of tickets for live music or entertainment events or receive at least 70 percent of earned revenue through cover charges or ticket sales, production fees or production reimbursements, nonprofit educational initiatives, or the sale of event beverages, food, or merchandise.
  • Demonstrate second-quarter revenue from April 1-June 30, 2020 were not greater than 10 percent of second-quarter revenue from April 1-June 30, 2019.
  • Employ fewer than 30 full-time employees.

“We have seen the urgent need for these resources for small businesses across the state, and MEDC is proud to work with our local partners and industry leaders to ensure this funding gets into the hands of businesses efficiently, effectively, and with the greatest impact possible,” says Mark A. Burton, CEO of MEDC.

“We continue to stay focused on both immediate relief efforts and also ensuring we have runway for economic recovery in the coming year through existing efforts around business retention and growth, supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem and creating vibrant communities throughout Michigan.”

The MEDC has now launched 23 COVID-19 relief and recovery programs that have supported more than 18,500 businesses in the state.

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