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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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How can businesses learn more about Michigan's COVID-19 relief grant program?

Posted at 7:44 PM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 19:53:04-05

LANSING, Michigan (WXYZ) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday she has signed a bill passed by the legislature providing $106 million to help people and businesses in our state impacted by COVID-19.

RELATED: Whitmer signs $106M COVID-19 relief bill, extends unemployment benefits through March 2021

The largest portion of the bill provides $55 million in grants for small businesses. Business leaders say they are happy to hear some help will be available.

“Any grant that helps small businesses get through this pandemic is appreciated. It is going to take that kind of help,” said Curt Catallo, the co-owner of Union Joints Restaurants.

He wants the public to understand this will help, but it is not a solution.

“As big as $55 million sounds, when you do the math and realize it could benefit 2,750 businesses, it might seem like a lot. But there are that many restaurants in Michigan that could use that right now,” Catallo said.

“Is it going to be enough to cover all the business needs out there. Absolutely not,” said Sandy Baruah, Detroit Regional Chamber CEO.

Baruah says while the state cannot solve all business problems, this is not money wasted. If it saves businesses, it is an investment.

“Give them out carefully. In other words, give them to businesses where the money will really make a difference, then it is money well spent,” Baruah said.

The Detroit Regional Chamber has been following this closely, making sure members know how information is available on how to benefit. He says the $20,000 grant program will be administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

If your business plans to apply, the time to prepare your paperwork and find out who will be executing the program in your area is now. In some areas, it will be the county. In other areas, it will be local economic development corporations.

The state says details will be put out soon on how to take advantage of the grants and it is encouraging businesses to visit: https://www.michiganbusiness.org/about-medc/covid19/, where it maintains a comprehensive list of resources and information for businesses related to COVID-19.