Welcome to my first e-newsletter! I’m honored and humbled to serve as our community’s voice at the Capitol in Lansing. 2020 was a year unlike any other; as we continue on into the new year and new term, rest assured the challenge families in our community and state are facing are at the top of my legislative priorities.
Included in this edition of my e-newsletter are some important COVID-19 and small business grant updates, along with resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-0152 or email at AmosOneal@house.mi.gov for questions about this or any other state-level issue.
State Representative, 95th House District
Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Applications Available This Week
Small businesses that have been disproportionately affected by the MDHHS epidemic order are eligible for grants of up to $20,000 if they have been closed or up to $15,000 if they have been able to continue operations. The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program’s application window opened yesterday and closes Friday, Jan. 22, at 12 p.m. To qualify, small businesses must employ between 1 and 100 employees, retain working capital to support business expenses and demonstrate an income loss as a result of the epidemic order. The full list of qualifications and instructions on how to apply can be found here.
Employee Assistance Grant Applications Available Through Jan. 25
Michigan workers who were laid off due to impacts of the MDHHS epidemic order are eligible for grants of up to $1,650 through the Employee Assistance Grant Program. Employees who qualify include those in the restaurant, bar, hotel, and entertainment industries, among others. The application for this program will close on Jan. 25, at 5 p.m.
Tax Assistance for Businesses Affected by Epidemic Order
Businesses that have been negatively affected by MDHHS’s epidemic order now have additional time to make their quarterly sales, use and withholding tax payments. The majority of entertainment and recreation venues, restaurants that depend on indoor dining and any other businesses that have been affected by the epidemic order can postpone filing and payment requirements for their December 2020 and January 2021 sales, use and withholding tax payments until Feb. 20, 2021, with no penalties or interest.
MDHHS Extends Revised Version of Epidemic Order
On Jan. 13, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services extended a revised version of the previous epidemic order. Through Jan. 31, 2021, the following will continue to be required:
- Higher risk recreation activities” like indoor water parks, night clubs, strip clubs and trampoline parks are closed;
- Fitness facilities are limited to 25 percent capacity and must maintain at least six feet of social distancing between workout stations;
- Retailers, libraries and museums are limited to 30 percent occupancy;
- Funerals are limited to 25 people;
- Indoor gatherings cannot include members of more than two households and are limited to 10 people;
- Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people.
The following is now permitted under the order:
- High schools, colleges and universities can return to in-person learning at the school district or institution’s discretion. (Elementary and middle schools were not required to pause in-person learning.)
- Extracurricular activities are allowed as long as face masks can be worn and the activity does not involve physical contact or a high degree of exhalation or physical exertion indoors;
- Group fitness activities and classes can take place;
- Ice rinks are open except for organized contact sports and swimming pools are open for exercise; and
- “Low risk entertainment facilities” like theaters, movie theaters, concert halls, performance venues, sporting venues, stadiums, the three Detroit casinos, arcades, bowling centers, amusement parks and bingo halls can operate at a limited capacity.
More information can be found here.
Capitol and House Office Building Closed This Week
Due to security concerns, both the Capitol Building and the Anderson House Office Building will be closed until Friday, Jan. 22. Session has been canceled this week and staff have been directed to work remotely. While legislative offices remain closed to the public, my team and I are still providing responsive service as we work in-district. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (517) 373-0152 or by email at AmosOneal@house.mi.gov if we can help.