LANSING — State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) introduced House Bill 5307 this week to create and operate a road construction business loss reimbursement program to administer grants to businesses for revenue lost due to an unexpected street closure or construction project that extends beyond its scheduled end date.
The legislation was spurred by an MDOT construction project on the south side of Lansing that has caused significant issues for area businesses. When a construction project extends beyond the anticipated timeframe, local businesses on the route often see a loss of revenue as customers use alternate, more convenient routes or parking options.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities,” said Anthony. “Not only do our families rely on them for everyday goods and services, they are absolutely crucial to supporting Michigan’s economy. It is critical that we do what we can to support these businesses and help them endure tough times, and my bill would go a long way in doing that.”
While delays are often outside of MDOT’s control, the Department has the ability to fine contractors who fail to meet their contractual deadlines. Typically, the collected fine dollars are directed to the MDOT budget. Rep. Anthony’s bill would give the state tools to levy additional dollars that could be used to compensate the affected businesses.
Grants would be equal to the recipient’s decline in revenue up to a maximum of $15,000 per year. Business owners would be required to apply for the grant and demonstrate a significant decline in revenue, as determined by looking at an average of profits during the immediately preceding 3 tax years.