KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Friday afternoon. Southwest Michigan First announced 144 small business grant recipients are receiving allocations as part of the state’s Michigan Small Business Relief Program. Grants may be used by recipients for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business.
The seven-county Southwest Michigan region received $800,000 to be administered among businesses located throughout Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties. Funding allocations were based on the concentration of eligible small businesses within each county. The average grant award was $5,555.
To be considered, a business was “eligible” if:
- The company is in an industry outlined in Executive Order 2020-9, or any subsequent Executive Order of similar intent (“EO”), or demonstrates it is otherwise affected by COVID-19 outbreak, that meets one or more of the following: provides support to impacted employees, is located in a downtown district or high impact corridor or has 50 employees or less, or is a company that provides services to companies outlined in the EO and requires additional employees to support companies or employees impacted by EO;
- The company has 50 employees or less;
- The company needs working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business; and
- The company is able to demonstrate an income loss as a result of the EO, or COVID-19.
“We understand small businesses across our state are facing unprecedented challenges as we take every step possible to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Through decisive actions like [these] taken by the MSF Board to authorize relief for small businesses throughout Michigan, we are leveraging every resource available to support our businesses, communities and entrepreneurs around the state impacted by this outbreak.”
Additional relief programs are still available for small businesses in need, including the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program, U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster loans and advances, Michigan Small Business Relief Loan Program, and Kalamazoo Small Business Loan Fund.