Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, in addition to providing an update on the state’s current COVID-19 situation on December 1, announced the availability of grants for small businesses impacted by the virus, and she urged Michigan residents to shop local during the holiday season.
On Monday, November 30, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced that the “Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $10 million grant program to help meet the urgent needs of small businesses disproportionately impacted the COVID-19 virus.”
“The Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative will utilize federal CARES Act funding to award grants of up to $15,000 to at least 670 small businesses across Michigan,” according to the MEDC.
Governor Whitmer said businesses can apply for the grants starting on December 15 and it’s “first come, first serve.”
“As we continue to take necessary precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19, many of Michigan’s small businesses are experiencing additional strain, particularly now during the holiday season and heading into winter,” Governor Whitmer said in a MEDC press release. “We are fully committed to supporting our small businesses and their employees across the state as they navigate and persevere through this pandemic. By putting this federal funding to work, we can provide immediate assistance to those businesses hardest hit by the pandemic.”
“The Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative 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,” according to the MEDC.
According to the MEDC, businesses can apply for the grants starting December 15 online at www.michiganbusiness.org/relief.
Governor Whitmer, during her December 1 update, also mentioned the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s new “Support Local” campaign and asked Michigan shoppers to consider local options this winter.
“As we head into the holiday season I want to remind all Michiganders if you are shopping for loved ones or friends or neighbors strongly consider supporting businesses in your community,” Governor Whitmer said.
“Last week the MEDC launched the ‘Support Local’ campaign reminding Michiganders to shop small during the holidays and throughout the winter months. There are a number of ways that we can support local businesses this season and stay safe. Buy your holiday gifts from small businesses that you love or find online in your area. You can help a small business restaurant by ordering and buying gift cards for loved ones. I encourage you all to seek out small businesses here in Michigan and give them your business and treat your loved ones to a cool Michigan gift,” Governor Whitmer said.
“We remain committed to supporting our small businesses, their workers, and the local communities who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19,” said Mark Burton, MEDC CEO. “This campaign builds on the nearly 20 COVID-19 economic relief programs we’ve already deployed and showcases the resiliency and ingenuity of Michigan people and businesses, even during a global pandemic.”
“Our small businesses are truly the lifeblood of our communities and we must do everything we can to help them and to support them,” Governor Whitmer said.