Michigan Small Business Restart Program
The State of Michigan has created a new grant program to help businesses and organizations with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Small Business Restart Program through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is allocating $4.5 million in funds through the Networks Northwest regional economic development organization.  The Federal CARES Act is the source of funding, passing through the State to the local businesses.  The Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce is an active partner in Networks Northwest and will be the local economic development lead on the new program for the Manistee area.

Approximately $260,000 of grant funding will be made available to the Manistee area.  The Michigan Small Business Restart Program competitive grant application went live online at 9:00am, Wednesday, July 15 at michiganbusiness.org/restart.  

The Restart Program grants will range between $10,000 to $20,000 dollars each and be used for eligible expenditures of payroll, rent, utilities, or similar expenses.  The enabling statute that created the program requires that 30% of the recipients be women-, minority-, or veteran-owned businesses.   

There are many eligibility requirements, including showing business revenues have been impacted by COVID-19, demonstrating need with their available working capital and expenses, having a Pure Michigan Business Connect Account, and having 50 employees or fewer both at the time of grant submission and as of March 16, 2020. 

It is important for applicants to read all the application instructions.

The anticipated demand for this small business grant program will be high, and it is possible to expect some difficulty with the web-based application.  It may be helpful to strategize on when to apply.  The application period will run through August 5, 2020 and all eligible applications received during that three-week period will receive consideration.

To help businesses, the MEDC will have a telephone help line in operation during weekdays from 8:00am to 5:00pm at (888) 522-0103.

Stay Safe to Stay Open
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed  Executive Order 2020-147 , which reiterates that individuals are required to wear a face covering whenever they are in an indoor public space and crowded outdoor spaces. Most significantly, the order requires any business that is open to the public to refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face covering.  As the order states, “No shirts, no shoes, no mask—no service.” 

The requirements for businesses went into effect at 12:01 am on Monday, July 13.

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11 Cypress Street
Manistee, MI 49660