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These resources – like the public health crisis itself – are constantly evolving and are only current as to the date of publication. This page was last updated on June 22, 2020.

For more up-to-date information on the relief programs available in Michigan, we recommend that you visit the state’s COVID-19 Resources website or the Michigan Economic Development Corporation

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Description of Program and Relief

MI Local Biz Matching Grant Program for COVID-19 Small Business Support

“MI Local Biz” is a creative funding mechanism offering quick access to capital for small local businesses. The MI Local Biz program is a matching grant program that utilizes donation-based crowdfunding to generate public interest, to raise funds to assist small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and help position the businesses for re-opening as the crisis eases. In conjunction with the Detroit-based crowdfunding platform, Patronicity, the MEDC will facilitate and match crowdfunding raises on a 1:1 basis up to $5,000 for eligible small businesses experiencing economic challenges as a result of COVID-19. By utilizing web-based donations, the program will allow anyone willing to make a donation to access the businesses in real time.

Steps towards obtaining the MEDC grant are as follows:

  1. Pre-Check Application: Small businesses seeking to participate in the program must fill out a Pre-Check Application available here.
  2. Start crowdfunding page: Eligible applicants will be notified via email from the Patronicity Team on Thursday May 28th, 2020 and will be able to begin building out their crowdfunding campaign page as the second part of their application through a unique link provided in the email.
  3. Page completion & Patronicity review: Applicants will have 3 business days to start, complete and submit their crowdfunding campaign page applications for Patronicity review and feedback. Failure to complete a campaign page within 3 business days from approval will result in a loss of approval. Funding will then be given to the next eligible business based on first come first served order in which the applications were received.
  4. MEDC final review & approval: Once a campaign has finalized their crowdfunding campaign page within 3 business days, incorporating review & edits from the Patronicity Team, the campaign will be forwarded to the MEDC for final approval.
  5. Campaign goes live.
  6. Implementation.

Government or Lead Agency

Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Dates Available

Pre-Check Application will be available May 18, 2020 through May 22, 2020

Eligibility Requirements/Restrictions

Businesses eligible to receive the MEDC match of local donations associated with the crowdfunding campaign must meet all of the qualifications below:

  1. A Michigan‐based small business operating in state that has been directly impacted by the COVID‐19 crisis.
  2. The business retails products and or services face‐to‐face within the state of Michigan. Examples include:
    • Restaurants / Bars / Coffee Shops
    • Cafes
    • Salons / Day Spas
    • Bakeries
    • Retail Shops
    • Hardware Stores
    • Any other small business retailing products or services face‐to‐face within the state of Michigan.
  3. The business has 25 employees or less.
  4. The business is able to demonstrate an income loss as a result of the COVID‐19 crisis.
  5. Businesses with multiple locations are only eligible to undertake one crowdfunding campaign. That campaign is limited to the $5000 matching grant maximum.

Priority will be given to businesses meeting two or more of the following location-based criteria:

  1. Geographically Disadvantaged Areas
  2. Engaged or Certified Redevelopment Ready Community
  3. Traditional Downtowns or Neighborhood Commercial Districts.

Other criteria and rules:

  1. The MEDC matching grant will match donations 1:1 up to a $5,000 maximum. A minimum of $1,000 must be committed in an individual crowdfunding campaign in order to be eligible for a matching grant. The program will operate under a “keep it all” model, once the minimum $1,000 raise is reached.
  2. “Keep It All” Model: If the business is seeking to raise $4,000 for working capital needs but the crowd only supports this raise with $2,500 of donations, the MEDC would match the $2,500, netting the business $5,000 in support. On the contrary if the business is seeking to raise a goal of $4000 and the crowd supports this raise with $5,000 of donations, the MEDC would only match the $4,000 established goal, netting the business $9,000 in donations.
  3. Contributions from a single donor/source may not count towards more than 10% of the total campaign goal; individuals may contribute more than 10% but that support over the threshold will not be counted for purposes of leveraging the MEDC match. Business owners and employees may participate in the campaign, subject to the same 10% threshold for matching funds.
  4. All raises must have a minimum of 10 donations in order to be eligible for the minimum match commitment.
  5. Donations must be solicited during the live MI Local Biz Campaign; any previous small business donations will not be applied towards the MEDC match.

Application Deadlines (If Applicable)

May 22, 2020

Contact for More Information

Phone Number: (888) 522-0103

List of Additional Information

Additional information on the MI Local Biz program and steps towards obtaining the grants can be found here and on this webpage.

© 2021 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. This does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. In some jurisdictions, this publication may be considered attorney advertising. Past representations are no guarantee of future outcomes.

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