Legislature Proposes $200 Million Small Business Restart Grant Program

Date: June 12, 2020

Grant Program Would Help Small Businesses Reopen

In response to the economic impact of the Governor’s orders closing many small businesses, Senate and House leadership are seeking to expand a previous state grant program that ended when the funding ran out. The Michigan Small Business Relief Program was launched in March and provided $20 million in grants and loans to small businesses. The original program grant and loan amounts were limited to $10,000 per business and were only available to businesses with less than 100 employees. Given the scale of the economic calamity caused by the shut-down orders, the funds were exhausted quickly and the program was ended.

NFIB recommended an expansion of the program, and on Wednesday of last week (June 3), the House Appropriations Committee added section 503 to a supplemental appropriation bill (Senate Bill 690) that seeks to restart the program with $200 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding.

Of the $200 million, $12 million is earmarked for agricultural loans to be managed by the Michigan Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (MDARD), leaving $188 million for small business grants to be managed by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). While details are still being worked out, the new program grants would be capped at $5,000 per award and be limited to businesses with less than 500 employees. NFIB has been working with Senate and House leaders offering suggested changes to the program.

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