Pure Michigan Small Business Relief InitiativeThe Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative utilized federal CARES Act funding to provide a total of $10 million in grants to nearly 700 small businesses disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
Nearly 700 small businesses across Michigan have been awarded $10 million in grants through the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative. Administered by the Michigan Municipal League Foundation, the program was launched to provide relief for small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, targeting businesses that fell under the DHHS epidemic orders that took effect at the end of last year.
The program utilized $10 million in federal U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) CARES Act funding to provide economic assistance to small businesses across the state. Michigan’s small businesses that were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic were able to apply for grants of up to $15,000 through the program.
MEDC selected the Michigan Municipal League (MML) Foundation as the single, statewide grant administrator for the program. MML Foundation reviewed submitted applications from all 10 prosperity regions across the state (see table below for more information).
Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative
Counties included in each prosperity region and allocation amounts are listed below.
To be eligible to receive grant funding, businesses must be in one of the industries listed below:
- Restaurants, bars and other food and beverage service providers
- Travel and tourism destinations including lodging providers and hospitality businesses
- Live event venues and movie theaters
- Conference and meeting facilities
- Ice skating rinks, indoor water parks and bowling centers
- Gyms, fitness centers and indoor recreation facilities
Because this Initiative is funded through federal CARES Act dollars distributed by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to the Michigan Community Development Block Grant program, businesses must satisfy the HUD National Objective for job retention in order to receive funding.
The business must document that at least 51% of positions will be held by low to moderate income persons or in the case of microenterprises (five or fewer employees) that the business owner is a low to moderate income individual. This information will be requested by the Grant Administrator following the PMSBRI Application and only from businesses whose application meets all other initial screening criteria, including applications that are “first in” to the extent that funding is available.
- For businesses that have five or fewer employees and are considered a “micro-enterprise,” the owner will compare their 2020 estimated annual income to the LMI income limit for the applicable county in which the business resides. If the owner’s estimated annual income in 2020 is at or lower than the applicable county’s LMI, the business would meet this requirement.
- For business that have over five employees or did not meet the requirement as a micro-enterprise, the business should identify the 2020 estimated annual income of each employee whose job would be lost without the assistance of this grant and compare each to the LMI income limit for the applicable county in which the business resides. If at least 51% of the employees whose jobs would be lost, have an estimated annual 2020 income that is at or lower than the applicable county’s LMI limit, the business would meet this requirement.
Additional Eligibility Requirements
- Business must be in compliance with all State and local orders related to COVID-19, including, but not limited, to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
- Be a for-profit entity, per HUD guidance (i.e., a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or LLC)
- Have a physical establishment in the Michigan County of Application and is NOT a home-based business
- Provide goods or services to multiple clients or customers
- Be current, or in a payment plan, on all local, state, and federal taxes due through 1/1/2020
- Have an active and valid state license(s)/registration(s), if applicable
- Is not an adverse party to litigation involving the State or municipality
- Business or Business owner has not filed for bankruptcy in the last 10 years
- Can identify a need for payroll, rent or mortgage payments, and/or utility expenses necessary to continue/restart business operations relative to the total grant amount
- Had annual gross revenues in 2019 greater than $25,000
- Has at least two employees, including the owner(s)
- Has fewer than 50 employees (including full-time, part-time, and owner(s) on a world-wide basis)
Grants may only be used for the following eligible expenses: payroll expenses, rent/ mortgage payments, and utility expenses. Grant funds may be used by the business for eligible expenses expended between November 18, 2020 and April 30, 2021. Grant funds may not be used for any eligible expenses that were previously funded or will be funded by another state or federal grant program, including but not limited to, the Michigan Small Business Relief Program or the Michigan Small Business Restart Program.
- Press Release (3/4/21)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- HUD National Objective for Job Retention
- LMI Income Limit by County
- Press Release Announcement (12/11/20)
Grant Review Process
- Applications were sorted into Michigan prosperity regions. Funding allocation amounts for each prosperity region is listed above.
- The applications were reviewed by the grant administrator on a first-in basis, based on timestamp within the applicant’s prosperity region.
- PMSBRI applications were reviewed by the grant administrator to verify it met the initial application screening criteria.
- If the applicant is able to be verified based on the initial application screening criteria, the applicant will receive a confirmation email from the grant administrator and will be asked to complete the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) National Objective Qualification process.
- If the applicant is able to be deemed “qualified” based on the HUD National Objective process, the grant administrator will notify the applicant that they will be receiving the PMSBRI grant.
- The business will enter into a Sub-Grant Agreement with the grant administrator.
- Grant funds will be disbursed.
- Businesses who submit applications that will not be selected for grant funding will be notified by the grant administrator by email after the review and selection process is complete. Reasons an applicant may not be selected for grant funding include:
- Funding allocations within the applicant’s prosperity region are exhausted.
- The applicant could not be verified based on the criteria in the initial application screening.
- The applicant could not be deemed “qualified” based on the HUD National Objective process.