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$2.5M in Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program Dollars for COVID-19 Economic Relief Efforts in Northwest Michigan

News Release
January 14, 2021

NORTHWEST LOWER, MI – The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program will provide $2.5 million in grants to meet the urgent need of Northwest Michigan small businesses that have experienced a significant financial hardship due to the recent COVID-19 emergency “gatherings and face mask orders.” Grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to businesses that are fully closed, with grants of up to $15,000 awarded to businesses that have been partially closed, or otherwise are open and can demonstrate an impact.

The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved a $3.5 million Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program, which will provide up to $40,000 in one-time grants to eligible Michigan live music and entertainment venues that have experienced a significant financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   

The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program is intended to meet the urgent need of Michigan businesses that have 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 in December 2020.

A single, statewide application for the program will be live at on 9:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, January 19 through 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST on Friday, January 22. Grants will be reviewed and competitively awarded based on objective criteria set forth locally and by the state, not on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Businesses must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Had 1 to 100 employees (including full-time, part-time and owner/employees) on a worldwide basis on November 17, 2020.
  • Is in an industry that demonstrates it is affected by the DHHS epidemic orders.
  • Needs working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses.
  • Can demonstrate an income loss as a result of the DHHS Order
  • Is not a live music and entertainment venue that is eligible for the Michigan Stage Survival grant program.

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 will coordinate the scoring of applications for Northwest Michigan. An objective review of all applications will include criteria set forth by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation as well as locally defined impact criteria.

“2020 has put tremendous financial stress and strain on much of the region’s business community,” said Matt McCauley, CEO of Networks Northwest. “Moreover, the financial impact of recent DHHS orders has been greater here than many other areas because of our disproportionate reliance on in-person work. While I know that demand for these dollars will be greater than what is available, I am pleased that these needed dollars will be available in the coming weeks to many area employers.”

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

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Networks Northwest always proves to be a valued resource for our local government planning efforts. No organization does a better job of convening partners, promoting collaboration, and reporting on the data than does Networks Northwest
- Ty Wessell, Leelanau County Commissioner