UPPER PENINSULA, MICHIGAN (February 17, 2021) – Nearly $2.5 million has been awarded to 415 businesses across the Upper Peninsula from the Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program.
Businesses in each U.P. county received awards to help with the continuing economic impact of COVID-19.
The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program was approved by the Michigan Strategic fund on January 14 and allocated $55 million throughout the state. The grant intends to address the financial hardship that small businesses have experienced. The funds were appropriated by the State of Michigan through SB 748 which received bi-partisan support from Upper Michigan legislators. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed it into law in December 2020.
“The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program provides crucial support to Michigan’s small businesses hit hard by the COVID19 pandemic,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “These grants, combined with additional COVID-19 business relief efforts offered by the MEDC, are helping to create a strong foundation for Michigan’s long-term economic recovery. As we work to distribute the safe and effective vaccine and end the pandemic once and for all, I will continue to partner with leaders across the state to provide relief for our small businesses and their employees.”
Grant eligibility was contingent upon a business or non-profit being physically located in the U.P. and demonstrating that the business or non-profit:
- Is part of an industry or non-profit that can show it has been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency
- Needs working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses
- Demonstrates an income loss as result of the COVID-19 emergency as determined by the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation distributed the funds after they were directed to the Michigan Strategic Fund. In the Upper Peninsula, the MEDC designated InvestUP as the fiduciary to allocate to U.P. small businesses.
“Once again, we are grateful for Senators Ed McBroom and Wayne Schmidt, Representatives LaFave, Cambensy and Markkanen, the Governor and our partners at the Michigan Strategic Fund and the MEDC for making this funding available to Upper Peninsula small businesses,” said Marty Fittante, CEO of InvestUP. “Unfortunately, although it is not a surprise in light of the how big the need continues to be, the number of applications again far exceeded the grant money that was available. The truth is that nearly all that applied were deserving, and we regret that all could not be receive funding as we know our local businesses are the heartbeat of our local economy. As we know funding like this is often times a lifeline for small businesses trying to manage through this unprecedented crisis, we continue to work with our federal and state partners to secure additional resources.”
InvestUP partnered with stakeholders from across the region to solicit and process applications as well as score over 800 applications that were received from around the U.P. The average grant award across all U.P. counties is $5,700. A full list of grant recipients can be found at the MEDC website.
Small businesses in need of additional support are encouraged to work with their local economic development agencies, visit www.update906.com for regularly updated resources, as well as reach out to their Michigan Works office, who continues to provide and develop programs designed to aid U.P. businesses.