Southwest Michigan restaurants applying for Covid support through two new grants

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 5:04 PM EST
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BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WNDU) -$55 million of relief for small businesses in Michigan are now available.

This is one of two new rounds of grants to help those impacted the most by Covid restriction in Michigan.

16 News Now tells us what kind of small business need these funds the most.

The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant is open to many different types of businesses. When 16 News Now spoke with the president of the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber, he said restaurants could really use the help right now.

Larks Barbeque in Benton Harbor is just one among many restaurants in Michigan missing out on dine-in customers.

Even with their loyal following keeping them afloat, one of the owners says they’re considering applying for the extra funding.

“We’re definitely having a conversation about it. We want to get more details about what’s different between now and the last time, but we’re definitely going to take a look at it. It’s possible it’s something we’re going to look into doing,” said Larks Co-owner Terry Stokes.

The Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber President says the small business survival grant will be helpful, but he sees some downsides too.

“Applying will be easier and it mirrors how they did it last year. Obviously, this comes at a critical time which is the best thing about them for businesses that are struggling currently. I would have liked to see a more targeted approach meant to alleviate the plight of restaurants who have been in a ten-week shutdown in effect since November,” said Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber President Arthur Havlicek.

A second fund called the Michigan Stages Survival Grant is a more targeted approach to help live event venues recover from the pandemic, but not restaurants.

$3.5 million are available in this grant with one-time awards of up to $40,000.

Here’s a full breakdown of both grants and requirements to apply.

Michigan Small Business Survival Grant:

  • The application is currently open. It closes Fri. Jan 22nd. at noon.
  • Must employ between 1 and 100 employees on a worldwide basis as of Nov. 17, 2020.
  • Demonstrate it is affected by the epidemic order; be in need of capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage, utilities, or other expenses; and demonstrate income loss because of the order.
  • Live music or entertainment venues are not eligible for this grant.
  • $55 million available statewide
  • Grant awards of up to $15-20 thousand.
  • $4.15 million available in SW Michigan.

Michigan Stages Survival Grant:

  • The application opens Jan. 21st-Jan. 28th.
  • Produce and/or present live, disciplined-based performance experiences.
  • Demonstrate at least 33% of 2019 gross revenues are from the sale of tickets for live music or entertainment events OR receive at least 70% of its earned revenue through cover charges or tickets sales, production fees or production reimbursements, nonprofit educational initiatives, or the sale of event beverages, food or merchandise.
  • Demonstrate second-quarter revenues from April 1 – June 30, 2020 were not greater than 10% of second quarter revenue from April 1 – June 30, 2019.
  • Employ no more than 30 employees on a full time basis.
  • Existed prior to February 29, 2020.
  • Not owned and operated in more than two states.
  • Not owned and operated with offices in more than one country
  • $3.5 million statewide with grants up to $40,000.

Head to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for more info and links to apply.

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