LANSING –The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Pure Michigan Business Connect program has launched a new grant program providing a total of $1 million in grants to Michigan’s small manufacturers looking to retool and produce critical health and human service supplies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Michigan has the manufacturing strength, innovation and determination to lead the charge in establishing an Arsenal of Health to address the shortage of critical supplies we are facing as a result of the COVID-19 virus,” said MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton. “The PMBC COVID-19 Emergency Access and Retooling Grants program will provide immediate assistance to small businesses around the state who are ready to step up and use their manufacturing know-how and retool to support recovery efforts in this time of need.”

The PMBC COVID-19 Emergency Access and Retooling Grants program will award grants of $10,000 to $150,000 to companies that can quickly and effectively manufacture critical health and human service supplies. Michigan small businesses (per SBA size standards) and established nonprofits are eligible to apply. Businesses can use the funds to support the purchase of equipment necessary to manufacture critical supplies, logistics and shipping costs of procuring necessary equipment, technology upgrades and other costs related to operationalizing new product lines.

To qualify, companies must submit an application at https://pmbc.connect.space/covid19/forms. Eligible applications will be reviewed based on ability to execute project; need for financial assistance; timeliness; product need in market; economic impact. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the total $1 million in grant funds are expended. To learn more about the program, visit here: https://www.michiganbusiness.org/pmbc-retooling-grants/.

While the program does not guarantee sales channels, the Pure Michigan Business Connect team will assist grantees by connecting them with demand identified through the COVID-19 Virtual Procurement and Donation Assistance portal. The portal, an effort of PMBC in collaboration with the State Emergency Operation Center, is a free, virtual procurement and donation platform that provides health and human service providers direct access to businesses within the state providing and donating supplies including personal protection equipment, food, medical devices, paper products, cleaning equipment and more.

The platform is also offering a place for companies with manufacturing capabilities for personal protection equipment to indicate which items (i.e. masks, gowns, ventilators) they are able to produce, along with quantity and timing detail. To learn more, visit here: https://www.michiganbusiness.org/virtual-procurement/.

Last week, the MEDC announced applications are now being accepted for the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, authorized by the Michigan Strategic Fund on March 19, to provide up to $20 million in grants and loans to provide economic assistance to Michigan’s small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The funds are being administered by 15 local and nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs) around Michigan, covering all 83 counties in the state. Visit https://www.michiganbusiness.org/msbrp for more information on how to apply.

In addition, michiganbusiness.org/covid19 also features other resources for businesses across Michigan to assist them in recovering from economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus. This includes U.S. Small Business Administration emergency loans, support services offered through the SBDC and more. The MEDC has also developed a FAQ for Michigan businesses and communities at michiganbusiness.org/covid19-faq.

For those who have questions about the state’s actions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136 between 8AM – 5PM daily. 

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.