JACKSON, MI — Dozens of Jackson County businesses may receive grant funding to address costs of the coronavirus pandemic and business losses stemming from gathering limits and mask mandates.
Jackson County was awarded $704,000 to disburse to small businesses in the area through the Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program. Applications opened Tuesday, Jan. 19, and will close at noon Friday, Jan. 22.
Businesses that fully closed at some point of the pandemic can receive up to $20,000. Businesses that partially closed or never closed but were financially hurt by the pandemic’s gathering restrictions or mask orders can get up to $15,000.
In Jackson, the Enterprise Group of Jackson will review applications on behalf of the MEDC. Its review committee is considering the number of employees impacted, wages and geographic diversity within the county, including preference to regions of the county that have been more severely impacted by COVID-19.
Applicants can expect to receive funds by the end of February. In all, $55 million in grants is being dispersed to Michigan small businesses through this program.
Here are the eligibility requirements:
- Employed 1 to 100 workers (including full-time, part-time, owner/employees) on a worldwide basis on Nov. 17, 2020.
- Operates in an industry that demonstrates it is affected by the state health orders issued in the fall.
- Needs working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, etc.
- Demonstrates an income loss as a result of the health orders.
The state has streamlined the application process because of multiple rounds of grant and loan programs during the pandemic, Alex Masten, Enterprise Group vice president of economic development, said. She recommended business owners watch the informational videos created by the MEDC to ensure they have all relevant information on hand when applying.
Enterprise Group will receive all applications after the portal closes Friday, Masten said.
“Any small business that is struggling, I really want them to know to not get frustrated by the process,” Masten said. “I hear a lot of the small businesses — especially on Facebook yesterday that said they were just going to give up and not do it just because of the queue was so large. My message to them is, I know it’s easier to say than do but have patience in it. If you’re really, truly struggling, please commit yourself to filling out this application. Because we want to help as many small businesses as possible and we can’t do that if they don’t apply.”
Apply online at michiganbusiness.org/survival.
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