Dear Neighbor,

Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates on the state’s efforts to address COVID-19 as well as other news from your state government.

$10 Million of Grant Funding Approved for MI Small Businesses

The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved an additional $10 million in grant funding for small businesses that have been hurt by COVID-19. Under this program, 650 small businesses will be awarded grants for up to $15,000. Small businesses can submit applications beginning Dec. 15 at To qualify, businesses must be in a targeted industry; have between 2 and 49 employees; and need help with payroll, rent, mortgage, or other necessary expenses to continue or restart business operation. More information about the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative can be found here.

MI Attorney General Issues Alert for Those Collecting Unemployment Benefits

Last week, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel alerted individuals collecting unemployment benefits to beware of an email scam. The scammers are using a Gmail account to pose as the Unemployment Insurance Agency to ask claimants for their personal information. Do not respond to this email. The UIA does not ask for personal information over email. And any valid requests for personal information from the UIA should be responded to via MiWAM. Anyone who has responded to these emails with their personal information should immediately report fraud or identity theft to the UIA.

Find out more information about this alert here.

State Employees Will Continue To Work From Home through at Least March 2021

State of Michigan employees will continue to work from home through at least March 1, 2021. This decision was made in response to the rapid increase and spread of COVID-19 cases statewide. Additionally, under the current MDHHS emergency order, all employees who are able to complete their work remotely should do so through at least Dec. 9.

State of Michigan Launches MI COVID Alert App

Last month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget rolled out a COVID-19 tracking app. MI COVID Alert can be downloaded for free onto iOS and Android devices. Once enabled, users will be notified if they have been exposed to another app user who tested positive for the virus. In order to receive an alert, the user must have been within 6 feet of the COVID-19-positive individual for at least 15 minutes in the previous 10 days. Individuals can anonymously report that they tested positive and app users they have been in close contact with will receive a notification.

Find out more information about MI COVID Alert here.

Futures for Frontliners Application Deadline Approaching

Michigan recently launched the Futures for Frontliners program, which provides a tuition-free pathway to higher education or a high school diploma for the essential workers who were working on the frontlines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To qualify, an individual must be a Michigan resident; and have worked in an essential industry at least part-time for eleven of the thirteen weeks between April and June 2020. Individuals who already have a college degree are not eligible.

For more information and to apply, visit Applications are due Dec. 31, 2020. You can learn more about the Futures for Frontliners program here.

My colleague Rep. Sarah Anthony and I recently made a public service announcement video about this great opportunity. You can check it out here:


While legislative offices remain closed to the public, my team and I are still providing responsive service as we work from home. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (517) 373-0587 or by email at if we can help.


Kara Hope
State Representative