Grant Information for Small Businesses
Thank you for your interest in the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative. The program was anticipated to support approximately 650 small businesses and 8,020 applications were submitted. An additional 14,208 applicants remained in the queue, but due to this overwhelming demand, the grant application has now closed.
The Michigan Municipal League Foundation has developed an update center designed to give applicants to the PMSBRI the latest updates available on the administration of the program. For more information, visit here.
We appreciate the ongoing support of all our partners helping us to deploy 20 COVID-19 relief programs to date, and particularly for the Michigan Municipal League Foundation and Connect Space with the current Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative. MEDC will continue to advocate for the clearly needed additional relief for Michigan small businesses – whether through legislative action here in Michigan or at the federal level. For additional COVID-19 relief resources, please visit michiganbusiness.org/COVID19.
What are the eligibility requirements?
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)
How much grant funding can I apply for?
Grants will be awarded up to $15,000 and the business will identify their total grant request within the application.
What are eligible expenses?
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.
- A business may create an account in Connect Space in advance of the application opening or may already have an account. Please visit https://pmbc.connect.space and click “Sign Up Now” to create an account. Be sure to note your password, it may be necessary to enter it when signing in in order to apply for the PMSBRI application.
- Applications will only be accepted online. Physical or emailed copies of the application will not be accepted.
- Before you begin your application please be aware that you will not be able to save your application and return to it later. For this reason, please make sure your application is complete, accurate, and that it has been reviewed before submitting. Accuracy is important.
- Once the application is submitted, the applicant will receive a confirmation email stating the application has been received.
- December 15, 2020: Application window opens at 9:00 A.M. ET
- Early January 2021: Small business grantees notified of awards
- Mid-late January 2021: Grant funds disbursed by Michigan Municipal League Foundation
What is the process to review and award grants?
- Applications will be sorted into Michigan prosperity regions. Funding allocation amounts for each prosperity region is listed below.
- The applications will be reviewed by the grant administrator on a first-in basis, based on timestamp within the applicant’s prosperity region.
- A PMSBRI application will be reviewed by the grant administrator to verify it meets 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.