6,000 small businesses in Michigan awarded $52.5M through grant program

small businesses grants in Michigan
Photo credit Getty Images - FILE

(WWJ) Thousands of businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan were able to get some financial help through a special program.

The state announced on Wednesday that aound $52.5 million in "critical relief" for nearly 6,000 small businesses across the state has been awarded through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Michigan Small Business Survival Grant program.

“The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program provides crucial support to Michigan’s small businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer, in a news release Wednesday. “These grants, combined with additional business relief efforts offered by the MEDC, will create a strong foundation for Michigan’s long-term economic recovery. As we distribute the safe and effective vaccine and work to end the pandemic once and for all, I will continue partnering with leaders across the state and urging passage of the MI COVID Recovery plan to provide relief for our small businesses, protect public health and jumpstart our economy.”

Approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund on Jan. 14, the Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program allocated $55 million to provide support to Michigan small businesses to meet the urgent need of businesses that experienced a significant financial hardship due to COVID-19 emergency “gatherings and face mask orders.” The program allowed for grants of up to $20,000 to be awarded to businesses that are fully closed, with grants of up to $15,000 awarded to businesses that have been partially closed, or otherwise are open and can demonstrate an impact.  A total of 5 percent of overall funding for the program was able to go toward administrative costs of the economic development organizations administering the grants.

The state appropriated the funds through SB 748, signed into law by Whitmer, to support Michigan’s small businesses that have been especially impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant program was administered by 15 local or nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs) covering all 83 counties across the state.

Yen Yoga & Fitness in Traverse City received a $20,000 Survival grant awarded by Networks Northwest and owner Sara Harding said she is grateful for the funds, which will allow her studio to deliver services to the community and help sustain her teachers.

“Yen Yoga & Fitness is honored to be a recipient of a survival grant from the MEDC,” Harding said. “This grant will directly assist our amazing team as our industry has been tremendously impacted due to the pandemic. We know that the pandemic impacts everyone, and we will continue to do what we can to support our community through health and wellness.”

Summary of grants allocated by local economic development organizations:

small business grant program in Michigan
Photo credit State of Michigan

To see the full list of businesses that received Survival grants, visit https://www. michiganbusiness.org/survival/.