LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Aid is coming to Michigan companies after a board final week accepted $58.5 million in grants for financial losses because of the coronavirus pandemic that has strained the state’s financial system.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer final month signed into law a spending plan to assist restore the financial impression from the coronavirus. It included an allocation to the Michigan Strategic Fund underneath the Michigan Financial Improvement Corp. to distribute grants to eligible companies.
The board accepted two applications to distribute funds throughout a gathering on Thursday: the Michigan Small Enterprise Survival Grant Program to assist companies that needed to shut or partially shut in the course of the pandemic; and the Michigan Phases Survival Grant Program to assist companies pay employees who had been laid off.
Funds from each applications can be utilized for payroll bills, constructing bills and different enterprise associated bills.
The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program will award $55 million in grants of as much as $20,000 for small companies that had been pressured to shut and grants of as much as $15,000 for the companies partially closed.
To be eligible for a grant, companies should have had one to 100 staff on Nov. 17 and present the impression pandemic restrictions had on them.
With COVID-19 persevering with to impression companies, particularly eating places which might be restricted to out of doors eating as a result of well being orders, small enterprise house owners like Ginny Sherrow, co-owner of Fenton Vineyard & Brewery, are searching for assist. Although her enterprise has out of doors seating and presents takeout, winter climate is hitting Fenton in Genesee County and it’s getting more durable to cowl working prices.
“We’ve got utilized for each single grant that has come out of any authorities entity or group since March,” Sherrow stated. “Though we’ve got utilized to every part, we haven’t but been awarded something. We have to use that cash to pay our property taxes, that are due right here to our native township.”
The Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program will award grants of as much as $40,000 to assist leisure venues, for a complete of $3.5 million.
To be eligible, venues should usually produce or present reside performances. They have to additionally make use of lower than 30 full-time staff and may’t apply for the Michigan Small Enterprise Survival Grant Program.
Program purposes will open Tuesday and shut Friday. Grants shall be distributed by Feb. 28, however might come as quickly as Jan. 29.
The grants usually are not first-come first-serve, in contrast to a $10 million strategic fund program in December when greater than 22,000 small companies raced for about 650 grants. Sherrow stated trade leaders referred to as it, “The Starvation Video games for small companies.”
By means of the strategic fund the Michigan Financial Improvement Corp. has awarded $180 million in grants to assist greater than 18,500 small companies over the previous 10 months, company President Mark Burton stated throughout a media name earlier than the strategic fund board assembly.
“As this pandemic continues, we stay dedicated to main a powerful financial restoration in Michigan, to make sure our state’s 10 million residents and its companies obtain the assist and reduction they want, not solely to outlive, however to develop lengthy after this pandemic is over,” Burton stated.
Grants are only a “drop within the bucket”, Sherrow stated, and so they can solely assist so many individuals.
What’s wanted is significant long-term adjustments for all enterprise house owners, not simply those that can rating a grant she stated.
In the beginning of the yr, Whitmer vetoed a bill that may have eradicated penalties for companies who waited to pay their 2020 summer time property taxes. Whitmer stated the Legislature strayed from agreements they’d made earlier about financial reduction spending so she vetoed just a few strains within the total spending bundle.
“That will have helped each single small enterprise proprietor and small enterprise within the state routinely as a substitute of getting us combat for grant funds,” Sherrow stated. “If we get the mortgage, it’s simply barely sufficient to pay our property taxes, so it’s going to go from the state authorities to the native authorities.”
Anna Liz Nichols is a corps member for the Related Press/Report for America Statehouse Information Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit nationwide service program that locations journalists in native newsrooms to report on undercovered points.