MEDC Small Business Relief

Home / Coronavirus Update / MEDC Small Business Relief Fund Collaborative

UPDATE:  4/10/2020

The Northwest Small Business Relief Fund Collaborative consisting of  Networks NorthwestNorthern Lakes Economic AllianceNorthwest Michigan Works!Northwest Small Business Development CenterTraverse ConnectAlliance for Economic Success, and Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce reviewed nearly 1,000 applications for grants up to $10,000 and $50,000 loans. The Collaborative was able to award $520,000 in grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 for 75 small businesses across Northwest Michigan, and is referring 10 businesses to receive a total of $500,000 in extremely low interest loans from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.   

An objective review of all applications included criteria set forth by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, including size of business, COVID-19 impact, profitability, and proximity to high impact areas. The scoring teams also considered historical/cultural significance as well as ensuring all counties in the region had awarded businesses. A list of businesses receiving grants is available at

Matt McCauley, CEO of Networks Northwest stated, “I am very proud of the collaborative, yet sobering work of this group of economic development agencies and professionals from throughout the region. While these dollars will be meaningful to many area employers, only 7% of the applicants received grants because of the limited funds provided to us by the state. I truly wish there was more money we could distribute. We will continue to be an advocate for area companies impacted by this severe economic disruption and fully anticipate more resources to assist in the near future.” 

“We were proud to be part of the regional team on this important effort.  It was truly humbling to see the impact COVID-19 has had on a wide range of businesses in our area.” said Andy Hayes, President, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance.

Lisa Leedy, Executive Director of the Alliance for Economic Success stated, “This grant process took a unified approach to offer additional resources to help reduce the impact and preserve our commercial corridors through a collaborative effort of our economic development team."

“The Michigan Small Business Relief Program is one of the ways we are leveraging every resource available to provide relief in the face the negative impacts COVID-19 is having on businesses across the state,” said Josh Hundt, Chief Business Development Officer and Executive Vice President at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We are proud to work with our partners in Northern Michigan to bring these critical resources to small businesses.”

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

POSTED: 3/31/2020

Application Process Now Live for Michigan
Small Business Relief Program

 Up to $20 million in grants and loans now available to Michigan’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19 outbreak

•Program now accepting applications, with key information available at

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 virus can now apply for grants and loans through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today. The program will provide up to $20 million in grants and loans to provide economic assistance to Michigan’s small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 virus, and in turn help support workers and their families facing economic uncertainty during the outbreak. Information on how to apply, as well as eligibility criteria, is available at

“Small businesses across our state are facing unprecedented challenges as we take every step possible to mitigate the spread of coronavirus,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “With this funding, we can provide real assistance to support our businesses, communities, entrepreneurs and workers around the state impacted by the tough, but necessary actions we are taking to mitigate the spread of this virus.”

The grants and loans under the Michigan Small Business Relief Program will support businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce and may be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business.

Key information to know about the application process includes:

  • There is one application, regardless of whether a business is applying for a grant or a loan. A business may receive a grant or a loan, but not both.
  • Businesses who do not receive grants may still be considered for loans.
  • The grants will be administrated by 15 regional economic development organizations throughout the state, which combined cover all 83 counties in Michigan.
  • All applications or recommendations for Michigan Small Business Relief Program loans will be referred from the partner EDOs to the MEDC for evaluation and disbursement.

Businesses should go to to apply.  The application window closes on April 3rd at noon.  The review process starts on Monday, April 7th.  Applications need to be submitted to the MEDC via the link above.

The Michigan Small Business Relief Program grants, authorized by the Michigan Strategic Fund on March 19, will be administered by 15 local and nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs) around Michigan, covering all 83 counties in the state. These EDOs are responsible for reviewing applications of small businesses in their region and entering into agreements with eligible small businesses. Each EDO will establish a review committee that may include representatives from local workforce agencies, local SBDC representatives, business and nonprofit leaders, among others. The full list of EDOs administering Michigan Small Business Relief grants and the counties they will serve is below.

Local and nonprofit EDOs across Michigan applied for the grant funds and were selected based on capacity to administer the program and ensure coverage to small businesses in all 83 counties in Michigan.

The $10 million in loans through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program will be referred to the MEDC from the local EDO partners where it will be reviewed by a loan review committee including the Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President of Business Development Projects. All loans made through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program will be approved through Michigan Strategic Fund delegated authority.

“We know small businesses across the state are struggling right now, and we are leveraging every resource available to provide relief in the face of these challenging economic circumstances,” said MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton. “The Michigan Small Business Relief Program will provide immediate assistance to support the health and sustainability of the state’s small businesses, communities and residents.”

The MEDC anticipates that at least 1,100 businesses across the state will benefit from this program.

Approved Economic Development Organizations:



Counties Covered


Invest UP



Keweenaw, HoughtonOntonagonGogebicBaraga, Iron, Marquette, Dickinson, Menominee, Alger, Delta, Schoolcraft, Luce, Mackinac, Chippewa


Networks Northwest



Emmet, Grand Traverse, CharlevoixAntrimKalkaskaMissaukeeWexfordManisteeBenzieLeelanau

Otsego County Economic Alliance


Otsego, Crawford, RoscommonMontmorencyOgemawOscoda

Target Alpena


Iosco, AlconaAlpenaPresque Isle, Cheboygan


The Right Place



Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, MuskegonNewaygoOceana, Osceola

Lakeshore Advantage


Allegan, Ottawa

Middle Michigan Development Corporation


Isabella, Gratiot, Clare, Gladwin

Saginaw Future


Arenac, Bay, Midland, Saginaw

Flint Genesee Chamber


Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, TuscolaSanilac, Huron

Lansing Economic Area Partnership


Clinton, Eaton, Ingham

Southwest Michigan First


Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Berrien, Calhoun, Van Buren, Cass, Branch

Ann Arbor Spark


Livingston, WashtenawHillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Monroe

Oakland County



Macomb Country



Detroit Economic Growth Corporation


Wayne County

In addition to the Michigan Small Business Relief also features other resources for businesses across Michigan to assist them in recovering from economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus. This includes U.S. Small Business Administration emergency loans, the Pure Michigan Business Connect virtual procurement and donation platform, support services offered through the SBDC and more. The MEDC has also developed a FAQ for Michigan businesses and communities at