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Michigan Small Business Restart Program

A new grant opportunity, the Michigan Small Business Restart Program, will provide grants to small businesses around the state working to recover from the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 virus. Grant funds can be used as working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses. Businesses may apply for grants of up to $20,000.

The Michigan Small Business Restart Program application will be live on Wednesday, July 15 at michiganbusiness.org/restart and run through Wednesday, Aug. 5.

The funding Ann Arbor SPARK received will be distributed, based on population, among businesses in a six-county region. Ninety-five percent of the grant will be distributed to businesses whose applications are approved. Five percent of the funds per the State legislation authorizing the program will be distributed to the six counties to cover administrative cost.

The breakdown of funding available to businesses by county is:

  • Washtenaw – $2.94 million
  • Livingston – $1.51 million
  • Jackson – $1.28 million
  • Monroe – $1.2 million
  • Lenawee – $793,500
  • Hillsdale – $369,300
  • Administration – $407,250

In total, the six-county region was awarded $8.5 million. Each of the regional partners administering this funding on behalf of the state is retaining a small portion of that total for administration.

Ann Arbor SPARK and its partners are determining, based on the state’s direction, the criteria that provides the maximum economic benefit to communities in our region, on the whole. As with funding decisions, criteria will be determined by a review panel representing business, government, nonprofit, and education representatives.

As a base, the state requires the following criteria be met:Is a business or nonprofit that can demonstrate it is affected by the COVID-19 emergency.

  • Needs working capital to support eligible expenses
  • Demonstrates an income loss as result of the COVID-19 emergency
  • Has not received a grant through the Michigan Strategic Fund’s Michigan Small Business Relief Program. Businesses who have received support through other COVID-19 relief programs, including the Michigan Small Business Relief Program loans, are eligible to apply for Restart grants.

Additionally, at least 30 percent of the funds awarded under the program must be provided to women-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned eligible businesses.

Funding criteria will be announced, along with the review committee, before the July 15 application open date.

Since mid-March, Ann Arbor SPARK has provided numerous business resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These and future resources can be found at the Ann Arbor SPARK Business Resource Center.

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