Stamas: Relief available for displaced workers and struggling businesses

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas announced on Friday that struggling workers can now apply for support grants up to $1,650 and businesses facing financial ruin as a result of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s repeated shutdowns can apply for assistance starting on Jan. 19.

“The governor’s ongoing economic shutdowns have taken livelihoods from thousands of Michigan workers and put many of our local businesses in danger of permanent closure,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “As we were putting together the COVID-19 relief funding package last month, I made sure that it included much-needed relief for workers and job providers. Thankfully, the governor didn’t veto the funding for these two critical assistance programs.

“Although the grants are not awarded on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, the application periods are short, so I encourage those in need to apply as soon as possible.”

Included in Senate Bill 748 was funding for Employee Assistance Grants to support employees affected by the DHHS shutdown order that took effect on Nov. 18. The bill also featured funding to implement the Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program to support the needs of affected businesses.

Eligible workers can apply at for grants from Jan. 15 until 5 p.m. on Jan. 25. Workers are eligible if they work in affected industries, including — but not limited to — restaurants, bars, hotels, bowling allies and movie theaters.

Starting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 19, businesses can visit to apply for survival grants. The application period closes at noon on Friday, Jan. 22.

The business survival program will provide $55 million to 15 local economic development organizations, which will then disseminate the grants to businesses. Businesses that have been fully closed since Nov. 18, 2020 may be eligible for up to $20,000 in grants, while those that have been partially closed or are otherwise open may apply for grants up to $15,000.