New Financial Support Available for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

    The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approved the $2 million Northern Initiatives Program through MEDC’s Capital Access program to provide micro and small business loans to Michigan businesses that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, including restaurants, coffee houses, retail stores and service providers. These funds can be used to provide loans ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 for working capital, acquiring machinery and equipment and to support inventory needs during this public health crisis.

    Current MSF Projects Can Qualify for Relief based on COVID-19 Outbreak

    The MSF Awardee Relief Initiative authorizes temporary emergency relief to businesses and community projects that have previously received grants, loans or other forms of economic assistance from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The program is available to support any MSF program awardee that is negatively financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Current MSF awardees can reach out to their primary MEDC contact for their current MSF-supported project to learn more about how to apply.

    Unemployment Benefits Extended for Self-Employed Workers, Independent Contractors and Others

    Michigan’s self-employed workers, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors and low-wage workers affected by COVID-19 can now apply for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance online at Michigan.gov/UIA. Those workers who now qualify for unemployment benefits, but have previously applied and been denied, can log into their MiWAM account to complete the next steps for federal PUA benefits.

    Bars and Restaurants Receive Financial Relief Under New Executive Order

    On Monday, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-46, tasking the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) with initiating a spirits buy-back program to offer financial relief to bars and restaurants with on-premises liquor licenses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in the state. The order empowers the MLCC to buy spirits remaining in inventory from bars and restaurants that purchased the spirits prior to March 16, 2020 for their full purchase price. Licensees must make their request to the MLCC no later than Friday, April 17, at 5 PM.

    Company Highlight: Schupan Aluminum and Plastic Sales

    Kalamazoo-based supply company Schupan Aluminum and Plastic Sales is producing an intubation box – named Aero|Guard – to better protect frontline health care workers serving COVID-19 patients to reduce the spread of the virus. The company is currently able to produce more than 4,000 units per week, with potential to ramp up production further in support of statewide efforts to combat the outbreak.

    Additional Resources Available Online

    Access additional resources by visiting michiganbusiness.org/covid19.

    Visit michigan.gov/coronavirus to find valuable resources for employers, workers, residents and communities and stay informed on Michigan’s latest efforts to mitigate the impact of the virus on our state’s residents and economy.

    Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

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