Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative to offer $10-million in grants to small businesses impacted by COVID-19

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 5:43 PM EST
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STATE, Mich. (WJRT) -Keeping a small business afloat is a challenge at anytime, but doing so in the midst of a pandemic has been an unknown territory for many small business owners.

“It’s a huge challenge financially. The books have to be balanced at the end of the month and we have to account for the fact that we had to lower the amount of our clientele that we can allow in the shop. At the end of the day, I’m confident maybe going into second quarter, we will be able to recoup some of those losses,” said Alesha Martin, owner of LUXX B.R.W.

Until that happens, small business owners like Alesha Martin are looking for ways to supplement their income.

“Any and every time I hear of any type of grant or small business loans, I am there. With my paperwork in order with all things we need to submit,” Martin said.

And more help is on the way. The state announced the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative---that will provide 10 million in grants to assist eligible small businesses directly impacted by COVID-19.

Grants will utilize federal CARES Act funding to award eligible businesses in the amount of up to $15-thousand.

“This one that came out today, I’m excited about and we will absolutely send in an application,” said Sarah Fechter Fitness, owner of Sarah Fechter fitness.

The Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative for Mid Michigan includes,

Region 5, which includes: Clare, Isabella, Gratiot, Gladwin, Midland, Saginaw, Bay, Arenac counties, will receive $600-thousand.

Region 6, which includes: Huron, Tuscola, Sanilac, Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair counties, will receive $850-thousand.

Grant funds will assist eligible small businesses directly impacted by COVID-19 meet urgent working capital needs including payroll expenses, rent or mortgage payments and utility expenses in the following industries:

  • Restaurants, bars and other food and beverage service providers
  • Travel and tourism destinations including lodging providers
  • Live event venues and movie theaters
  • Conference and meeting facilities
  • Ice skating rinks, indoor water parks and bowling centers
  • Gyms and fitness centers

“It will definitely help some of the bills, the payroll, some of the mortgages and that’s the kind of help that we need. Nobody is going to do fitness in an outdoor igloo. I don’t know how to make that work, I’m not that creative, but using it to be able to cover some of the bills even over the next few weeks, I would be very grateful for and I know a lot of other small business owners are in the same boat,” Fechter said.

Applications for businesses to apply will open on December 15th.

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