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Financial Relief Quick Reference Guide

If your business is experiencing hardship because of the impact of COVID-19, please consider pursuing one or more of the programs below. Contact a member of the Southwest Michigan First team to explore the opportunities available to you. For more in-depth explanations about specific resources, visit our COVID-19 Business Resources webpage.

Federal Programs


Paycheck Protection Program

U.S. Treasury FAQ – Updated as of April 23, 2020

Update: Round 2 of funding was announced on April 21, 2020 and was passed by the House. On April 23, the Senate approved the package and sent it to President Trump for his signature.



Up to $10 million loan, Apply through your SBA-approved lender or bank. Funds are limited. Borrowers may be eligible to have their loans forgiven.

The loan will be fully forgiven if funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required.

500 employees or less (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private nonprofit organizations or 501 (c)(19) veterans organizations.

Businesses with more than 500 employees can apply if they met the SBA’s size standards for those industries.

Small Business Administration The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will reopen January 11, 2021, offering forgivable loans to small businesses and allowing certain cash-strapped firms to borrow a second time.

Details regarding the loan can be found here.

Apply through your lending institution.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) FAQ Advances of up to $10,000 and loans up to $2 million. 3.75% fixed for 30 years. Apply directly through the SBA (not your lender).

Special Note: You may apply for PPP and EIDL, but if received, you must use awards for different things. For example, use the PPP for payroll and rent and the EIDL for overhead, operating costs, inventory, etc.

Small businesses under SBA size standards Small Business Administration Apply here.

Apply through the SBA.

UPDATE: On September 8, 2020, the SBA issued this linked press release announcing working capital disaster loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations located in Michigan as a result of freeze on April 14 through May 9, 2020.  The loans are available in the following counties: Allegan, Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa, Saint Joseph and Van Buren.

SBA 7(a) Loan FAQ Up to $5 million loan. Apply through your SBA-approved lender or bank. Small businesses under SBA size standards Small Business Administration Contact your SBA lender

SBA Express Bridge Loan Program FAQ Short-term, expedited funding up to $25,000 for eligible small businesses while they apply for and await long-term financing. Apply through your SBA-approved lender or bank. Small businesses under SBA size standards Small Business Administration Contact your SBA lender

Section 4003 of the CARES Act: Loan Programs for Larger Businesses FAQ Loans availble to industry-specific businesses: passenger air carriers, cargo air carriers, businesses certified by the Department of Transportation, air ticket agents, businesses critical to maintaining national security. Any size business U.S. Treasury Department U.S. Treasury Department

Small Business Debt Relief FAQ Debt forgiveness for small businesses with standard SBA 7(a), 504 or microloans. Loan forgiveness will be enacted by SBA automatically. Any business with existing SBA 7(a), 504 or microloans Small Business Administration Contact your SBA lender

Employer Retention Tax Credit and Employee Retention Tax Credit Under CARES Act FAQ The Employer Retention Tax Credit is a 50% tax credit for the first $10,000 of an employee’s compensation. To claim the credit, you will include 50% of eligible wages on your second quarter Form 941, 941-SS or 941-PR.

The Employee Retention Credit is for employers that are entitled to a refundable tax credit for providing the required leave paid under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA). The Employer Retention Tax Credit maxes out at $10,000; thus each employee paid during that time period could garner up to $5,000 in tax credits.

You can read more about it here, including FAQs.

Note: The same wages cannot be counted for both credits.

Employers who are closed partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19. Credit is applied against employer payroll taxes. Consult your accountant

Main Street Lending Program FAQ 4-year loans available at a minimum of $1 million, up to a certain maximum amount with principal and interest payments deferred for one year. Firms seeking Main Street loans must commit to make reasonable efforts to maintain payroll and retain workers. Borrowers must also follow compensation, stock repurchase, and dividend restrictions that apply to direct loan programs under the CARES Act. Firms that have taken advantage of the PPP may also take out Main Street loans. Small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the crisis employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion. Department of Treasury Approved banks

USDA Business & Industry Loan Guarantee Program FAQ Up to $10,000,000 loan. For-profit businesses, nonprofits, cooperatives, federally-recognized tribes, public bodies in eligible areas. Individual borrowers must be U.S. citizens. Private-equity borrowers must demonstrate the loan funds will remain in the U.S. U.S. Department of Agriculture Apply through your local lender; lender must be approved for the program.

Save Small Business Fund FAQ $5,000 grants Small businesses  with 3-20 employees (not including independent contractors); Business must be located in an economically vulnerable community defined as the bottom 80% of the most economically distressed zip codes in the U.S. as ranked by the Distressed Communities Index. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Applications open on April 20 at 3:00 EST here

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box FAQ Purchase of agricultural products Farmers, shippers, and other suppliers with fresh produce, dairy, and meat impacted by the closure of  restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities U.S. Department of Agriculture Complete Request for Proposal documents

Research & Experimentation (R&D) Tax Credit FAQ The R&D Tax Credit is a general business tax credit under Internal Revenue Code section 41 for companies that incur research and development costs in the U.S. Taxpayers that design, develop, or improve products, processes, techniques, formulas, or software. Consult your tax accountant

Restaurant Revitalization Fund FAQ Part of the American Rescue plan, signed into law by President Joe Biden, this program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss including restaurants;food stands, food trucks, food carts; caterers; bars, saloons, lounges, taverns; and more. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Apply here starting May 3, 2021.

State of Michigan Programs


Michigan Small Business Relief Grant FAQ Up to $10,000 grant 50 or less employees Michigan Strategic Fund Applications now closed

Michigan Small Business Relief Loan FAQ Up to $200,000, low interest loan 100 or less employees Michigan Strategic Fund Contact the Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Pure Michigan Business Connect COVID-19 Emergency Access & Retooling Grant FAQ Up to $150,000 grants for companies who can retool and manufacture critical supplies. Applications will be reviewed within 48 hours. Small businesses under SBA size standards and nonprofits Michigan Economic Development Corporation Apply here

Business Accelerator Fund FAQ Small grants up to $50,000, though most are in the $7,000 to $15,000 range, to high-tech and very small non-tech companies supporting technology and personal protection equipment for COVID-19. Michigan Strategic Fund’s allocation to Business Accelerator Fund Contact WMed Innovation Center for elibility and availability

Relief for Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations
FAQ Grants up to $5,000 Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c) (3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Services code and incorporated and physically located in Michigan. Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs through funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts through the CARES Act Applications due by 5:00 pm on May 1, 2020

Michigan Humanities Organizations Pandemic Emergency (H.O.P.E.) Grants FAQ Grants up to $10,000 Nonprofits authorized to operate in the state of Michigan and that uphold the key values of inclusion, diversity, and equity; discovery and understanding; authentic conversation; respectful collaboration; and meaningful experiences. Michigan Humanities through the CARES Act Apply here

MIWISH Grant FAQ Grants up to $5,000 Preference will be given to employers with 250 employees or less, companywide, in high-hazard industries identified in MIOSHA’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, but all projects will be evaluated based on the specific hazards addressed Micghian Occupational Safety and Health Administration Apply here

Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund FAQ Grants and Microloans Being located in a disadvantaged area within a U.S. Small Business Administration designated HubZones and Opportunity Zones; Demonstrating status as a low- to moderate-income borrower; Qualifying as a diverse business that can demonstrate ownership by underrepresented groups; Business income of less than $500,000 in the previous year and fewer than 50 employees Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the SBA, NEI, and many notable corporate and individual donors Apply here

MI Local Biz FAQ Crowdfunding with matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) up to $5,000 Examples of the types of businesses that these grants are intended for include restaurants/bars/coffee shops, cafes, salons/day spas, bakeries, retail shops, hardware stores, and other small businesses retailing products or providing services in a face-to-face physical location within the state of Michigan. MEDC Apply here starting May 18

Match on Main FAQ Grants to Select or Master level Michigan Main Street communities in conjunction with eligible businesses seeking support The local unit of government, downtown development authority, Main Street organization or other economic development organization that represents a traditional commercial district including a downtown, neighborhood commercial district, or an area planned and zoned for concentrated commercial development is eligible to apply for up to $50,000. which contributions to any one business between $2,000-$10,000. MEDC Apply here through May 29

Michigan Small Business Restart Program FAQ Grants up to $20,000 Small business or nonprofits with 50 employees or less that can demonstrate it is affected by the COVID-19 emergency, needs working capital to support eligible expenses, and demonstrates an income loss as result of COVID-19. MEDC Apply here starting July 15 through August 5

Michigan Agricultural Safety Grant Program FAQ $10 million in grants will be provided to processors
statewide, with a minimum grant of $10,000 and a
maximum grant of $200,000.$5 million in grants will be available to farms
statewide, with a minimum grant of $10,000 and a
maximum grant of $50,000.
A farm or agricultural processor located in Michigan that employs at least 10 employees in Michigan; provides a 2019 1040, Schedule F or state license, tax, or other relevant information demonstrating qualification; certifies funds will only be used for Eligible Expenses; provides a Certificate of Good Standing; verifies that the business is current on State, Local and Real Estate Taxes, or is otherwise contesting them in good faith; certifies compliance with, and agrees to, all other required MSF terms and conditions; agrees to register for payment by EFT at the State of Michigan State Integrated Governmental Management Applications (SIGMA) Vendor Self-Service (VSS) website; and agrees to provide its registration number. Michigan Economic Development Corporation Apply here starting July 15

Winterization Grants
FAQ Eligible businesses may apply to receive between $1,000 to $10,000, while eligible municipalities and local organizations may apply to receive up to $15,000. Commercial firms and nonprofits with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees in industries including restaurants, bars, banquet centers, retail stores, gyms, and more are also eligible for funding. Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) in partnership with the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Submit your application here.

Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative
FAQ Grants will be awarded in the amount of up to $15,000 per eligible business on a “first-in” bases. Grant funds will assist eligible small businesses with 2 to 50 employees in these sectors:

  • Restaurants, bars, and other food and beverage service providers
  • Travel and tourism destinations including lodging providers
  • Live event venues and movie theaters
  • Conference and meeting facilities
  • Ice skating rinks, indoor water parks, and bowling centers
  • Gyms and fitness centers
Michigan Economic Development Corporation Submit your application here starting on December 15, 2020.

Michigan Small Business Survival Grant
FAQ Small businesses that have realized a significant financial hardship as a result of updated COVID-19 State of Michigan regulations announced in November and December 2020 could receive up to $15,000 (for an eligible business that is open or partially open) to $20,000 (for an eligible business that is fully closed). An eligible business is a for-profit business or nonprofit business that meets the following criteria:

  • Has 100 or fewer employees.
  • 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.
  • Has demonstrated a need for working capital.
  • Demonstrates an income loss as a result of the “Gatherings and Face Mask Order.”
  • Is not a live music and entertainment venue that is eligible for the Michigan Stages Survival Grant funds under SB748 Section 401.
  • No special demographic parameters.
Michigan Strategic Fund Submit your application here between 9:00 am January 19, 2021 and noon on January 22, 2021.

Michigan Stages Survival Grant
FAQ Eligible businesses may apply to receive grants of up to $40,000. Eligible venues include any businesses/ organizations that produce and/ or present live, disciplined-based performance experiences and meet all of the eligibility requirements laid out here. Michigan Strategic Fund Submit your application here.

Employee Assistance Grants for Employees of Hospitality, Dining & Entertainment Industries
FAQ One-time grants up to $1,650. Employees impacted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Gathering and Face Mask Order that took effect on November 18, 2020. Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Educational Foundation Apply here by January 25, 2021.

Local Programs


Kalamazoo Small Business Loan Fund FAQ $5,000 to $50,000 low-interest loans Businesses located in the city of Kalamazoo with 50 or less employees— particularly minority- and women-owned businesses; and businesses that are in the food / beverage, retail, manufacturing and service industry. United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region and city of Kalamazoo and supported by the Foundation for Excellence Apply here

Kalamazoo Micro-Enterprise Grants FAQ $5,000 grants Eligible businesses must be located in the City of Kalamazoo, have ten or less employees, have been in operation for at least one year, have less than $1 million in annual revenue, and not have received support through the grant in 2020. United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region and city of Kalamazoo and supported by the Foundation for Excellence Apply here between June 7-July 5, 2021

SBA Disaster Loan FAQ Up to $2,000,000 loan Small businesses with 50 or less employees and nonprofits in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties Small Business Administration Apply here

SBA Microloan FAQ $500 to $50,000 Microloans Small businesses with 50 or less employees and nonprofits in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties Small Business Administration Contact Dubelsa Mata-Garcia at Cornerstone Alliance

Berrien County Rent and Mortgage Payment Program FAQ Zero-interest loans issued at a maximum of $2,000 Business must have a physical presence in Berrien County and a rent or mortgage payment due in April and/or May 2020 Berrien Community Foundation, Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council and Cornerstone Alliance Apply here

Kalamazoo Small Business Health Protection Grant
FAQ Reimbursement for approved COVID-19 expenses of up to $2,500 Businesses with less than 50 employees located in the City of Kalamazoo with revenue less than $2.5 million Federal funding made available through the City of Kalamazoo and United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region Apply here



FedEx #SupportSmall Grants FAQ $5,000 grants, plus a $500 credit from FedEx Office Must be older than 18; a U.S.-based for-profit small business in operation and selling for more than one year, with less than 50 employees; have less than $5 million in annual sales revenue in 2019; and have shipped in the last 12 months and/or plan to ship in the coming 12 months as part of your business. FedEx Apply here

The Red Backpack Fund FAQ Grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. Sara Blakely Foundation Applications open at noon on April 6

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund FAQ One-time grant of $500 to restaurant industry employees who can  prove being adversely impacted by COVID-19 financially though a decrease in wages or loss of employment. National Restaurant Association Applications expected to reopen on April 10

Hello Alice COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grant FAQ Grants of $10,000 Applicants must be a legal resident of the U.S., excluding Puerto Rico; at least 18 years or older; a legal for-profit business entity based in the U.S.; be the business owner who is the founder and/or leading executive Hello Alice, with the support of Verizon, Silicon Valley Bank, Ebay, and others Apply here

Verizon Small Business Recovery Grant FAQ $10,000 grants Businesses and nonprofits that are located within and/or serving the city of Kalamazoo’s under-resourced core city neighborhoods Local Initiates Support Corporation (LISC) in partnership with Verizon Apply here by April 28

Salesforce Care for Small Business FAQ $10,000 grants For-profit companies between 2 and 50 employees; have been in business for 2 full years as of March 2020; and have an annual revenue between $250,000 and $2,000,000 Salesforce Apply here

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