Macomb County has received $4.1 million for businesses from the state and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation through the Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program.
I previously spoke to Carey Denha, the owner of The Magic Bag and CEO of Tangerine Moon Productions, where we discussed how businesses were struggling financially because of COVID-19.
Artists were spreading awareness about the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) initiative, a group that is lobbying congress on behalf of all the independent music venues throughout the nation, and two bills that were in the works that could help these venues.
The #SaveMIstages relief was trending, and going online to savemistages.com and emailing local elected officials or texting “Go SaveMIstages” to 50409 to send a letter to Governor Whitmer were recommended. The Save Our Stages bill and The Restart Act — which go in hand with The Heroes Act — provided relief to independent and small companies. You can read the full story here.
It was announced that the $4.1 million would be given to business as grants. It prioritizes brick and mortar businesses like restaurants, bars, banquet centers, gyms, entertainment venues and recreational buildings.
While it’s not a perfect solution, I’m glad that there’s finally something to help businesses like Denha’s.
Businesses that suffered after COVID-19 virus emergency orders were informed in November and December by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that they can apply for grants from 9 a.m. Tuesday through noon Friday.
The requirements for the businesses who qualify are:
The business is a for-profit business or nonprofit business. The business had 1-100 employees (including full-time, part-time and owner-employees) worldwide on November 17, 2020.
The business is in an industry that can demonstrate being affected by the emergency orders and the business needs working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses.
The business has showed an income loss because of the emergency orders as determined by the EDO in which an eligible business is located and the business is not a live music and entertainment venue that is eligible for funds under PA 257 of 2020 Section 401.
These requirements worry me a bit. We’ve been in this pandemic for almost a year now, some businesses might struggle to meet these requirements.
I’m not saying to lessen the requirements, because then these grants might be given to businesses that don’t need it as much as another one, but it might be hurtful to some businesses that need it.
The grants can be used for payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utilities and other expenses, said Vicky Rowinski, director of Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.
Macomb Executive Mark Hackel said the county will do what it takes to get businesses “back on their feet.”
“Our goal with this new grant is to target industries that have been hit the hardest by shutdowns and orders,” he said.
I’m hoping that this is the first step towards a new normal that doesn’t involve a hurting economy, hurting the job market and wearing masks in public.