Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced recently that nearly $100 million has been allocated to more than 14,000 small businesses across the state through the Michigan Small Business Restart Program.

Approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund in July, the Michigan Small Business Restart Program allocated $100 million of federal CARES Act funding to provide support to Michigan’s small businesses and nonprofits that are reopening and have experienced a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The funding was distributed across 15 local, nonprofit economic development organizations covering all 83 counties in the state for grants up to $20,000 to support certain small businesses and nonprofits that have realized a significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement brings the total amount awarded through the program to $95.6 million, up from $69 million announced at the end of September. Five percent of overall funding for the program went toward administrative costs for the local economic development organizations administering the grants.

In Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor Spark was the local economic development organization charged with awarding grant money. A total of $2,950,000 was distributed to 298 businesses and non-profit organizations across the county. In Ypsilanti, grant recipients include The Corner Health Center and Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels, among many others.

While these grants, along with other COVID-19 business relief efforts offered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, have helped to sustain small businesses during this difficult time, we still have a tremendous task ahead of us in defeating this virus and rebuilding our economy. I will continue to work with Gov. Whitmer, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, and other state and federal officials to ensure that when this pandemic recedes, eastern Washtenaw county will be ready and open for business.