Grants up to $20,000 available for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

Small businesses struggling from the economic impact of COVID-19 could be eligible for some financial relief.

The Michigan Strategic Fund Board is allocating $100 million in grants for COVID-19 small business recovery as part of the CARES Act. 

Lakeshore Advantage has been allotted $3.5 million to administer the Michigan Economic Development Corp. program in Allegan and Ottawa counties, awarding grants of up to $20,000 to more than 160 small businesses.

“This is great news for small businesses, with the potential of over 160 organizations being funded in Allegan and Ottawa counties, and Lakeshore Advantage is honored to be stewards of these funds to assist in these challenging times,” says Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens.

Review committee

She added that the Zeeland-based economic development organization (EDO) will be assembling a review committee of financial experts and business leaders to review applications.
Applications for the Michigan Small Business Restart Program will be accepted from July 15-Aug. 5. Funds can be used as working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses. 

Eligibility info and the application are available at
Grant criteria

To qualify for grant support, businesses must meet the following criteria: 
  • Demonstrate it is affected by the COVID-19 emergency
  • Needs working capital to support eligible expenses
  • Show an income loss as a result of the COVID-19 emergency
  • Has not received a grant through the Michigan Strategic Fund’s Michigan Small Business Relief Program
Businesses that have received support through other COVID-19 relief programs, including Michigan Small Business Relief Program loans, are still eligible to apply for Restart grants.
Critical needs

At least 30% of the funds awarded under the program must be provided to eligible women-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned businesses. The MEDC anticipates that more than 5,000 businesses across the state will benefit from this program. 
Lakeshore Advantage is one of 15 Michigan nonprofit EDOs covering all the state’s 83 counties receiving the funds to distribute to small businesses experiencing significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 “We are asking for assistance in sharing news about this grant far and wide to reach all businesses to help with critical needs and ensure a vibrant economy in West Michigan,” Owens says. 
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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.