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Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program Overview

January 14, 2021 Regional Updates
business folder with label grants

View list of Livingston and Washtenaw Counties Survival Grant Recipients

Questions? Send an email to

The State of Michigan has allocated $55 million to implement the Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program to support the needs of eligible Michigan businesses that have experienced a significant financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency “Gatherings and Face Mask Order” (“Order”) issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on December 7, 2020. The application to apply will open at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, and will only be available through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation website.  

About $1.6 million in grants are available for companies in Washtenaw County and $800,000 in Livingston County.

Michigan Small Business Survival Grants will be awarded up to $15,000 for an eligible business that is open or partially open and up to $20,000 for an eligible business that is fully closed.  The business will identify its total grant request within the application.  Grants may only be used for the following eligible expenses: payroll expenses, rent/mortgage payments, utility expenses, and other costs related to reopening a business. Grant funds may be used by the business for eligible expenses expended between November 18, 2020 and April 30, 2021. Grant funds may not be used for any expenses that were previously funded or will be funded by another state or federal grant program, including but not limited to, the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, the Michigan Small Business Restart Program, or the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative.


  • Applications open: 9:00 AM on January 19, 2021
  • Applications close: Noon, January 22, 2021
  • Notification to Awardees: No later than February 28, 2021
  • Disbursement of Awards: No later than February 28, 2021
  • The MEDC and local EDOs will announce the awardees no later than March 1, 2021


Each county in the Greater Ann Arbor Region (Monroe, Lenawee, Jackson, Hillsdale, Livingston, and Washtenaw) has developed a local review committee.

Washtenaw County Committee
  • Ann Arbor SPARK
  • Washtenaw Community College Entrepreneurship Center
  • Washtenaw County’s Office of Community and Economic Development
  • Washtenaw County’s Racial Equity Office
  • NewFoundry CEO
  • Advisory review from the Small Business Development Center
Livingston County Committee
  • Ann Arbor SPARK
  • Livingston County
  • Howell Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Hartland Chamber of Commerce
  • Livingston County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Application Walk-Through


Committees will review applicants from each county to ensure eligibility and availability of funds. Grants will be reviewed based on a number of factors, including:

  • Number of employees impacted
  • Wages
  • Economic impact of COVID-19 on the business
  • Length of time the business has operated
  • Geographic diversity

Award decisions will be communicated to applicants and, if approved, a grant agreement will be signed and funds will be distributed through electronic funds transfer. Funding is limited and submitting an application does not guarantee funding.


  • Has 1-100 employees (including full time, part time, and owner(s) on a worldwide basis) at the time of application.
  • Is in an industry that demonstrates it is affected by the “Gatherings and Face Mask Order” or “Order” issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on December 7, 2020 taking effect on December 9, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. through December 20, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. and the order taking effect on November 18, 2020 entitled gatherings and face mask order that it rescinded and replaced.
  • Has demonstrated a need for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses.
  • Demonstrates an income loss as a result of the Gatherings and Face Mask Order as determined by the local and nonprofit economic development organization representing the County in which an eligible business is located.
  • Is not a live music and entertainment venue that is eligible for the Michigan Stages Survival Grant funds under SB748 Section 401.


How can funds be used?

Grant funds must be used for expenditures incurred by the eligible business between November 18, 2020 and April 31, 2021 that meet the following criteria:

  • Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 (such as resulting from employment or business interruptions due to COVID-19);
  • Used for its working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or costs related to reopening the eligible business or eligible nonprofit.

Can I save my application and come back to complete it at a later time?

You will not be able to save your application and return to it later; however, you will be able to access and edit your completed application after you’ve submitted it until the application window has closed on Friday, January 22, at noon.

How can an applicant confirm the application submission was successful?

Each applicant will receive an email confirmation after their successful submission.

What is SPARK’s role in the Survival Grant Program?

At the state’s request, Ann Arbor SPARK will work with the review committee to evaluate all of the grant applications based on the state’s scoring rubric to determine award eligibility. Ann Arbor SPARK will also handle the administration around fund distribution. We are grateful to our state and local partners for their support in helping businesses in our community.

Who should I contact if I have questions about my application?

If you have any questions, please contact the Michigan Economic Development Corp Service Center at (888) 522-0103 (select menu option 1). You can also send an email to

The MEDC website states that you were given $4.7 million to distribute, so why does your letter to those who received or did not receive funding state you were only given $1.6 million?

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. provided Ann Arbor SPARK Restart grant funding to disperse in our region totaling $4.7M. As you see on the MEDC website the funding allocated to Ann Arbor SPARK includes counties we don’t serve directly (Lenawee, Jackson, Hillsdale, Lenawee, and Monroe). The state considers these counties part of our region, however, those counties each have their own economic development organization, i.e. their own version of Ann Arbor SPARK, to whom a share of the funding was provided for those organizations to disperse in their localities. 

When will I be notified of award decisions?

Each of our community partners will be notifying applicants no later than February 28, 2021.