Michigan's small businesses can apply for up to $10k in funding to winterize outdoor spaces

Nov 13, 2020 at 4:42 pm
click to enlarge Michigan's small businesses can apply for up to $10k in funding to winterize outdoor spaces
Courtesy of Union Joints

As if running a small business during a global pandemic wasn't difficult enough, add Michigan's impenetrable winter weather and climbing coronavirus cases to the mix and it's enough to want to throw in the artisanal pretzel towel for good.

Well, there's good news for small business owners by way of Michigan's Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and the Small Business Association of Michigan. The partnership means there's $3 million in grant money available to aid businesses in extending and winterizing outdoor spaces to reduce exposure to the elements and indoor traffic, Crain's Detroit Business reports.

“Throughout the pandemic, Michigan's small businesses have done their part to keep our economy open by following proper safety regulations,” Susan Corbin, Labor and Economic Opportunity acting director said in a release. “These federal grants will help them fund temporary outdoor facilities and increase customer capacity while ensuring their workplaces are safe during our cold winter ahead.”

Grants, which are made possible thanks to cash from the federal CARES Act earlier this year, are available to businesses with less than 50 full-time employees, and each business is eligible to receive anywhere between $1,000-$10,000 to help construct temporary outdoor amenities, as well as pay for heaters, furniture, or other necessary equipment. Meanwhile, $15,000 grants may be distributed to eligible municipalities and organizations.

Interested applicants may begin applying next week at miwintergrants.org/submit.

Many metro Detroit businesses have already begun to creatively pivot to heated outdoor services, like individual dining igloos, tents, and yurts.

Earlier this week, the city of Northville announced the upcoming construction of heated pods and walk-up stands to assist shops in the downtown district weather the winter months.

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