MEDC launches new grant programs to help small business recovery efforts

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has launched two new programs to help small businesses recover from the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MEDC has developed the MI Local Biz program, using the organization’s Public Spaces Community Places placemaking initiative as its base. Like the placemaking initiative before it, MI Local Biz uses the Michigan-based Patronicity crowdfunding platform to help raise funds. Small businesses can set up a crowdfunding page through the program, and the MEDC will match dollars earned, resulting in up to $5,000 in matching grants.

Expanding on the existing Match on Main program, the MEDC has opened up its Match on Main–COVID-19 Response program to the state’s 286 Redevelopment Ready Communities. Those St. Clair County communities certified by the program include Fort Gratiot, Marine City, St. Clair, and Yale. Those local units of government, downtown development authorities, Main Street organizations, and other economic development organizations can apply for grants of up to $50,000. Organizations may then administer grants between $2,000 and $10,000 to local businesses.

"Michigan’s small businesses and traditional downtowns are a vital part of the state’s economy, and we are deploying every resource possible to support the recovery efforts of these businesses, while providing communities with resources to engage in economic recovery efforts," says MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton.

"The expansion of these programs will help Michigan’s small businesses, especially retail stores and those that provide in-person services to our residents, as they work to recover from the loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 virus."

The MEDC also launched a Reopen Main Street website for access to additional recovery resources. Additional resources can be found here.

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