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$2,375,000 in Small Business Survival Grants Awarded

News Release
February 17, 2021

NORTHWEST LOWER, MI – Through the Michigan Strategic Fund and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), $2,375,000 in Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program dollars is being provided to many Northwest Michigan small businesses that experienced a significant financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency “gatherings and face mask order” issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in December 2020.

“The Michigan Small Business Survival Program is providing significant support to small businesses helping to get them through this critical time and on the path to economic recovery,” said Josh Hundt, Chief Business Development Officer and Executive Vice President at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We are thankful for the efforts of Networks Northwest and other northern Michigan economic development organizations, who worked swiftly and diligently to deliver these vital financial resources within their region and create a path toward economic recovery for small businesses in Michigan.” 

The Northwest Small Business Survival Grant Collaborative consisting of Networks Northwest, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, Northwest Michigan Works!, Northwest Small Business Development Center, Traverse Connect, Alliance for Economic Success, and Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce reviewed nearly 800 applications for grants up to $20,000. The Collaborative was able to award grants to 181 small businesses and nonprofits across Northwest Michigan with an average amount of $13,122.

An objective review of all applications included criteria set forth by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, including need, the size of the business, COVID-19 impact, and previous profitability. The local scoring teams also considered the historical, cultural, or community significance of some organizations as well as ensuring the equitable distribution of funds across all counties in the region.

“Every organization has been impacted in one way or another by COVID-19 in the last 10 months," said Matt McCauley, CEO of Networks Northwest. “However, some businesses have been harder hit than others, specifically those who had to limit their operations based on most recent DHHS orders. These dollars are a much needed boost for some of our area’s employers, but the need by our business community still exceeds what any one program can provide. I look forward to the near term where businesses can hopefully resume regular operations and begin to recover, rebuild, and thrive again.”

To see the full list of businesses in Northwest Michigan that received Survival Grants, visit

For more information on resources for businesses affected by COVID-19, please visit

The professionals at Networks Northwest help our City Council, Planning Commission, and staff make thoughtful decisions to ensure our community is sustainable and resilient for many years to come.
- Mark Heydlauff, Charlevoix City Manager