1. Applications for the Small Business Survival Grant just opened up this morning.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is offering $55 million in funding to companies impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
There are certain eligibility requirements. To check those out, or apply, head to michiganbusiness.org/survival.
This is the 23rd recovery program launched by MEDC since the pandemic began.
2. A Michigan artist and Grand Rapids Inc. are partnering to bring a bit of encouragement to West Michigan.
The Encouragement Path is the latest project to be installed in downtown Grand Rapids for the World of Winter Festival.
It was created by Ink-Courage, who's hoping to remind people of their potential, courage, and strength.
Those positive messages are being spread with signs, displayed on the south lawn of the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
If you would like to check out the Encouragement Path, it will remain there through February 28.
3. The Michigan Department of Transportation is looking to name their snow plow trucks, and are asking the community to help name them.
Names will be seen on the MDOT Roadmap where all of their snowplows are in the area.
Some current names include Plow-a-Saurus Rex, Sir Salts-a-Lot, and Plowy McPlow Face.
The program started in Southwest Michigan where a fifth grade class at Fair Plain East Elementary in Benton Harbor named three plows. The school named one Tiger, their school mascot.
MDOT needs names for more than 250 trucks throughout the state. Head to michigan.gov to submit your idea.
4. Today is National Popcorn Day! Celebrate all of the different ways the corn-based treat can be enjoyed: savory, sweet, caramelized, buttered, or plain.
According to The Popcorn Board, popcorn has been around as early as the 16th century. It didn't start becoming popular in the U.S. until the last 1800s.
The Popcorn Board says Americans consume 13 billion quarts of popcorn a year. That's more than any other country in the world.
5. NASA has red hot plans for the red planet next month. The space agency has three separate missions for Mars in February.
One of them will allow the people living on Earth to hear sounds from Mars for the first time.
Microphones riding on NASA's Perseverance Rover will record sounds from the planet. NASA expects to hear ambient noises like wind and the Rover as it works.
They say recording audible sounds on Mars is a unique experience. Mars' atmosphere is colder and a lot denser than Earth's, so sounds could sound different than they do here on Earth.
For example, your voice would sound more muffled and it would take longer for others to hear you.