Applications are now live for the $100 million Michigan Small Business Restart Program and the $15 million Michigan Agricultural Safety Grant Program, two new grant programs aimed at providing relief for small businesses, nonprofits, farms and food processors as they work to recover from and mitigate risks of the COVID-19 virus.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the programs “put federal funding to work” for small businesses in Michigan hardest hit by the impact of COVID-19.
“These programs … ensure they can keep their doors open and put critical protections in place for their workers and their customers,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Families across the state depend on small businesses for their livelihood, and these grants will build on additional COVID-19 business relief efforts offered by the MEDC to create a strong foundation for Michigan’s long-term economic recovery.”
Approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund on July 7, the Michigan Small Business Restart Program allocates $100 million of federal CARES Act funding to provide support to Michigan’s small businesses and nonprofits that are reopening and have experienced a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
The funding will be distributed across 15 local or nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs) covering all 83 counties in the state for grants up to $20,000 each to support certain small businesses that have realized a significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, at least 30 percent of the funds awarded under the program must be provided to women-owned, minority-owned or veteran-owned eligible businesses.
Small businesses and nonprofits can apply at michiganbusiness.org/restart.
The Michigan Small Business Restart Program application period will be live through Wednesday, Aug. 5 at michiganbusiness.org/restart and all applications received during that three week period will receive consideration; grants will be awarded after the close of the application period based on criteria that are defined by the EDOs. Funds can be used as working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses.
The MEDC anticipates that more than 5,000 businesses across the state will benefit from this program.
The $15 million Michigan Agricultural Safety Grant Program application process is also now live and can be found at michiganbusiness.org/agsafety. The program will support the implementation of COVID-19 monitoring and mitigation strategies to protect agricultural employees and the state’s overall food production industry, including PPE, testing, employee training and housing needs to ensure appropriate social distancing.
The Michigan Agricultural Safety Grants are divided between agricultural processors and farms:
- $10 million in grants will be provided to processors statewide, with a minimum grant of $10,000 and a maximum grant of $200,000.
- $5 million in grants will be available to farms statewide, with a minimum grant of $10,000 and a maximum grant of $50,000.
Applicants must apply as either a processor or a farm – but not both – and funds will provide grants of up to $1,000 per employee to fund COVID-19 mitigation costs, including but not limited to testing costs, personal protection equipment, facility needs, increased sanitation costs, employee training, and upgraded safety procedures for farm-provided housing.
The Agricultural Safety grants will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis to eligible applicants with GreenStone Farm Credit Services processing applications prior to sending to the MEDC for final review and disbursement.
“We have taken these programs from words on a page to full deployment in two weeks to ensure we can start getting these funds into the hands of small businesses, nonprofits, farms and food processors across Michigan and continue to set a path to economic recovery here in our state,” said MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton. “These programs will provide a significant opportunity to address immediate needs of those who have been hardest hit by COVID-19. Combined with other MSF programs and services, as well as local and federal economic development support, we can help ensure small businesses throughout the state to recover from the short and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.”
With the approval of these two programs by the MSF Board, the MEDC has launched 17 COVID-19 relief and recovery programs supporting more than 3,400 businesses in the state and helping to retain more than 14,700 jobs across all 83 counties. To learn more about MEDC’s COVID-19 response programs and the impact they are having on economic recovery efforts, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19response. Other resources for economic reopening efforts as well as businesses across Michigan struggling with economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19