Mackinac Economic Alliance

Ph: (906) 984-2095
330 N. State St., St. Ignace, MI 49781

Mackinac Economic Alliance

COVID Disaster Assistance Update

New Information May 19th, 2020

Today has already been an eventful day! Governor Whitmer has signed a new Executive Order stating that restaurants, bars, and retail stores can be opened at limited capacity, on Friday 5/22/2020 at 12:01 AM. Office work that cannot be performed virtually is also permitted to resume. Read details of Executive Order 2020-92 HERE. In addition to EO 2020-92, she signed Executive Order 2020-91 which details the safeguards that must be provided for Michigan workers by industry. You will find that HERE.

Here is a link to the DOL News Release that includes information on what they have been working on to reopen America’s economy, keep workplaces safe and healthy, help unemployed Americans and defending workers’ rights to paid leave. The dental industrytaxi/ridesharenursing homesand retail pharmacies each have a special guidance document in this news release.

COVID-19 testing criteria in Michigan has been expanded to include individuals with mild symptoms and essential workers that have to leave home to work (even if they don’t have symptoms). Find your nearest testing location HERE.

The Luce, Mackinac, Alger, Schoolcraft Health Department in cooperation with Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! is proud to present you with guidance on reopening your business. It includes signage that you can use for your restrooms and other areas. Find that HERE. If you seek additional public health guidance, please contact your local Health Department. The contact information is as follows:

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Community Development Department is excited to announce three new resources available to support place-based small businesses. Read more below and discover how each of these new tools can be used to support local businesses within your community that has experienced economic challenges as a result of COVID-19:

Match on Main – COVID-19 Response Program

The Match on Main COVID-19 Response Program temporarily expands the MEDC’s Match on Main Program and will provide up to $50,000 to local downtown management organizations to administer to eligible small businesses located in traditional downtowns, neighborhoods, and commercial districts, or areas planned and zoned for concentrated commercial development.

This program serves as a tool for local units of government, downtown development authorities, or other downtown management organizations that desire to support place-based businesses located in their traditional commercial districts by providing grant funding to eligible businesses in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The local unit of government, downtown development authority, Main Street organization, or other economic development organization that represents the downtown is eligible to apply for up to $50,000.The minimum contribution that is able to be administered to anyone business must be at least $2,000, with a maximum of $10,000. The applicant will determine which businesses are selected for inclusion in the application for support and at what desired grant amounts.

The application window is May 13, 2020, through May 29, 2020. All applications will be due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29.

Learn more about the program here:

MI Local Biz – Crowdfunding Model for Small Businesses

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, MEDC, in conjunction with the Detroit-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity, has developed “MI Local Biz,” a creative funding mechanism that offers quick access to capital for small local businesses during this unprecedented time of need. The MEDC will 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 such as restaurants, bars, coffee shops, salons, hardware stores, retail shops, etc.

Modeled after the MEDC’s highly successful Public Spaces Community Places program, MI Local Biz is a matching grant program that utilizes donation-based crowdfunding to generate public interest, raise funds to assist small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and help position that business for re-opening as the crisis eases. By utilizing web-based donations, businesses are accessible to anyone willing to donate in real-time. This crowdgranting model engages the public as each person contributes to the effort to assist their local businesses. Also, this model instills community pride as residents become a conduit of support for their local economy.

Applications will be accepted through the Patronicity platform starting May 18, 2020, at 8 a.m. Business applications will be evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited funding is available.

Learn more about the program here:

Michigan Reopen Main Street Recovery Resources

Main Streets across Michigan are currently operating in a new reality due to the impact of COVID-19. As a way to help Main Street directors, downtown development authority managers, small business owners and local stakeholders navigate the complexities of re-opening their local business districts – the MEDC has partnered with Reopen Main Street to compile a variety of recovery resources into one, easy-to-use website. The new website includes reopening strategies, ideas, hints and tips for businesses, business districts and organizations. View Michigan’s Reopen Main Street website here:

Additional Resources Available Online

The Mackinac Economic Alliance is sharing the recommendations of the US Small Business Administration & Small Business Development Center for Businesses and Non-Profits to file for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  In addition to loans, each program includes a portion of funding that will not need to be repaid.  Please be sure to watch this space and our Facebook page for updates.

The loan calculation for a seasonal business applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan can now be based on the payroll average from a 12-week period between May 2019, and mid-September 2019. Previously, all loan calculations were based on a 12-week period beginning in February or March 2019 through June 2019. Read more Here


When preparing your application to either the EIDL or PPP program, please consider the recommendations of the SBA & SBDC to reduce your funding needs by:

  • Request your Bank to waive loan payments for the next 2 – 3 months.
  • Request your Landlord to defer lease/rent payments for 2 – 3 months.
  • Request Vendors / Creditors to suspend payments for 2 – 3 months.
  • Apply for SBA funding for remaining needs for the next 2 – 3 months.
  • Laid-Off Employees should be directed to apply for Expanded Unemployment Benefits.


A new programming opportunity from the MEDC, the Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund.

Applicants will be evaluated on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. Eligible candidates will be prioritized based on demonstrated need, including, but not limited to:

  • Being located in a disadvantaged area within a U.S. Small Business Administration designated HubZone or Opportunity Zone;
  • Demonstrating status as a low- to moderate-income borrower;
  • And qualifying as a diverse business that can demonstrate ownership by underrepresented groups including, but not limited to, veterans, minorities, and low-income men and women.

The application can be found at:


The 15 county region of the Upper Peninsula received $500,000 to be administered among businesses located throughout all counties. The average grant award was $6,250. For a list of grant recipients, please visit:

Additional Relief Funding Now Available

Through the signing of the “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act,” Congress has appropriated additional funds to restart small-business disaster and relief loan programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

Paycheck Protection Program

There is now an additional $320 billion for the PPP
SBA will resume accepting applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27th at 10:30 am EDT
If you have a pending application, check with your lender on the status
If starting a new application, check with your lender to see if they are participating in the PPP
Learn More About the PPP

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

There is now an additional $60 billion for the EIDL program, including $50 billion in loans and $10 billion in grants
SBA will resume processing EIDL Loan and Advance applications that are already in the queue in the order they were received
The EIDL application portal is not accepting new applications at this time

Learn More About the PPP

Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. We anticipate that funding will go quickly and encourage you to apply soon.
Michigan SBDC business consultants are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses understand available disaster assistance and loans, determine eligibility, prepare loan applications, as well as navigate other post-disaster challenges.

Connect with the SBDC

Business Webinars for Busy Entrepreneurs

Financial Management
Thursday, May 28 at 11:00 AM
These webinars are provided to Michigan residents at no-cost!

Answers to your specific questions.
Want to talk something through, one-on-one? Our business consultants are available to help you strategize for the future of your business.
Connect with an SBDC Consultant

COVID-19 Conversations

Subscribe to our COVID-19 mailing list to stay up-to-date on news that could affect you and your small business. You’ll receive alerts about small business relief funds and our ‘COVID-19 Conversations’ webinar series.

Did you know that our COVID-19 Conversation Webinars are uploaded to our on-demand library after they have been recorded? Watch our webinars at any time!
Access On-Demand Webinars

Register today and pass the word!