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SBAM Distributing $3 Million in Grants to Help Small Businesses Weather the Cold

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) is providing federal CARES Act funds to help qualifying small businesses expand their capacity by adding weatherized, temporary outdoor facilities.

Grants will be awarded to eligible businesses on a first-come, first-served basis with special consideration given to awarding at least 10 grants in each of Michigan’s prosperity regions.

Who is Eligible?

Commercial firms and nonprofits with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (use FTE on August 1, 2020) in these industries:

  • An entity which meets the definition of “food service establishment” under MCL 289.1107 or is licensed as a food establishment by MDARD, excluding soda fountains, industrial feeding establishments, private organizations serving the public, rental halls, catering kitchens, theaters, commissaries, food concessions;
  • A local governmental unit, private business, or non-profit entity, a downtown development tax increment finance authority directly incurring costs by creating temporary spaces or amenities for cold weather outdoor operations of multiple local businesses or for public use (such as new picnic tables, or a commons area within a designated social district as permitted by 124 PA 2020);
  • A business which hold any of the following credentials from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission: a Tavern license, a Class C license, or a manufacturer with an On-Premises Tasting Room Permit;
  • Aerobics and sports class facilities, fitness centers, gyms, health spas and wellness centers; and
  • Final-consumer, fixed location retailers;
  • Banquet and event centers;

    Michigan-based business owners and other eligible applicants can use the grant funds to construct temporary structures such as canopies and igloos or purchase portable heaters, outdoor furniture and tableware, cooking equipment, and other related safety and security upgrades necessary to increase outdoor capacity for carryout and delivery services. All funds must be used in support of weatherization of outdoor capacity expansions and the construction of permanent structures is not an allowable use. Grant funds are available for purchases made between August 1, 2020 – December 30, 2020.

Applications must be submitted beginning at noon EST on November 18, 2020. Grants will be awarded to eligible businesses on a first-come, first-served basis with special consideration given to awarding at least 10 grants in each of Michigan’s prosperity regions. For full details and to learn more visit SBAM.org/weather.