Applications now open for Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program

Local small businesses and live venues hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic can seek relief through two new programs approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund.


The fund has approved $58 million in additional state funds to help small businesses, with $55 million earmarked for small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the novel coronavirus and the state’s gathering and mask order issued in December. MSF also approved the $3.5 million Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program, which will provide up to $40,000 in one-time grants to eligible Michigan live music and entertainment venues that have experienced financial struggles due to the pandemic.


Detroit’s share of the new funds will be $4 million. The Detroit Economic Development Corporation is one of 15 economic development organizations selected to receive and distribute the funds.


The application for the Survival Grant goes live at 9 a.m. Jan. 19 and is open through 12 p.m. Jan. 22. A virtual information session for businesses interested in applying is set for 6 p.m. Jan. 19. For more information on registering, click here. The application to apply for the Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program will open at 9 a.m. Jan. 21 and close at 12 p.m. on Jan. 28.


“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,” MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton said in a news release. “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.”


Grants — which can be used for payroll, rent or mortgage, utility expenses, and other business-related costs — of up to $20,000 may be awarded to eligible businesses that have been temporarily closed; eligible businesses that have been partially closed or are open and can demonstrate they’ve been affected by the pandemic can apply for up to $15,000.


To apply, a business must:

  • Have 1 to 100 employees (including full-time, part-time and owner/employees) on a world-wide basis on Nov. 17, 2020.
  • Be in an industry affected by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services’ epidemic orders.
  • Need working capital to support payroll expenses, rent or mortgage, utility expenses, or other similar expenses.
  • Can demonstrate an income loss as a result of the state’s order as determined by the economic development organization 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.


Since the pandemic hit last year, DEGC has distributed more than $11 million in COVID-19 relief funds to 1,700-plus small businesses — with more than two-thirds of those small businesses minority-owned — in Detroit.

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