Michigan Small Business Grants

Through a combination of state leadership, federal initiatives, and the collaboration of county and regional development corporations, many small business grant programs have been successfully implemented in Michigan over the past several years. This has led to measurable improvements to Michigan’s economy and increased the state’s reputation as a vibrant environment for small businesses and startups.

Michigan Small Business Grants

In this article, we’ll explore the numerous small business grants that have supported Michigan businesses in recent years. We’ll also highlight ongoing grant programs that remain open to applicants across a range of industries in Michigan.

Recent Grant Programs in Michigan

In March of 2020, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, which provided $10 million in grants to support small businesses affected by COVID-19. These grants were distributed by 15 county and regional economic development organizations (EDOs), which selected 2,700 businesses across all 83 Michigan counties and retained at least 11,000 jobs for Michigan-based small businesses in the process.

Later in the year, facilitated and led by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the Michigan Small Business Restart Program provided over $100 million of financial support to small businesses in Michigan, leading to the retention and creation of nearly 130,000 jobs across all 83 state counties. Our related article explores the comprehensive successes of this program and how it supported businesses impacted by COVID-19, including a sizable portion of minority-owned, woman-owned, and veteran-owned businesses.

In addition to these two major initiatives in 2020, the Michigan Strategic Fund also approved industry-specific grant funding to support, among others, agricultural farms and processors ($15 million for this industry alone). To encourage entrepreneurial growth and enhance early-stage funding for startups, the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program contributed to the establishment of over 1,300 Michigan-based high-tech companies who employ over 20,000 full-time employees. The MEDC’s International Trade Program also provided financial support to 530 Michigan companies to improve export logistics and sales to clients in over 120 countries.

Finally, the 2020 Match on Main COVID-19 Response Program provided nearly $1 million in grants to local small businesses across the state, granting support to nearly 300 businesses in over 20 communities. This program was particularly intended to strengthen local downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

In 2021 and into 2022, more Michigan small business grant programs were established to support small businesses emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Michigan “Economic Jumpstart Plan” proposed by Governor Whitmer enacted just some of the following grant programs:

  • The Michigan Small Business SmartZones and Business Accelerator and Resiliency Initiative, which provided $75 million in grants to startups. The initiative used its Small Business Fund and Small Business Support Network to equally fund established “main street” businesses, as well as newly formed businesses.
  • The Michigan Microenterprise Support Initiative, which provided $125 million in grants and loans to businesses that did not qualify for federal PPP or other incentives. The initiative was specifically designed to support businesses with less than nine employees, including in rural areas.
  • The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Weatherization Grants offered $3 million in funds to more than 300 small businesses to improve capacity through the construction of weatherized, temporary outdoor facilities.

Grants Open for Applications

A number of grants that support small businesses in Michigan are still open to applicants in late 2022 and 2023, with many other state small business grants programs expected to renew for at least one additional cycle in the coming year. Of course, entirely new state-sponsored grant programs are expected to be introduced in the new year, as well, supporting a range of business types and industries.

Industry 4.0 Technology Implementation Grants 

Designed to support Michigan manufacturers and manufacturing facilities, this matching grant is provided to qualifying small business manufacturers to support the implementation of “transformative technologies” ranging from cloud computing to big data, artificial intelligence, connected worker platforms, and more. Visit the MEDC’s website to apply for up to $25,000 of support.

Missing Middle Housing Grants

These grants support developers with construction costs by funding gaps based on “missing middle” units in qualifying projects. $15 million in funds are available to developers for the 2022 cycle, which concludes on December 30th. Another round of grants is set for 2023-2024, which is currently projected to more than double 2022’s available funding ($33 million).

MIOSHA Workplace Improvements to Safety and Health Grants

These safety and health matching grants provide up to $5000 for companies to secure health and safety equipment, as well as training equipment that improves workplace health and safety. Eligible companies must operate under the jurisdiction of MIOSHA and have less than 250 employees. Applications were opened on October 1, 2022 and applications are still open

Agricultural and Rural Development Grants

A host of agricultural and rural development grants are still available for businesses through 2022, 2023 and beyond. See the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development website for more information on grants that remain open for Michigan small businesses.

Strengthen Your Small Business with Workforce PayHub

At Workforce PayHub, community is one of our core values. We’re invested in supporting small businesses, fostering entrepreneurial opportunities, and contributing to economic prosperity in all of the communities we serve. 

If you’re a small business in Michigan looking for a workforce management solution that integrates payroll, timekeeping, HCM, HR, benefits administration, and more, don't hesitate to contact us today for access to the tools, customer support, and expertise you deserve.

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on labor law regulations, HR best practices, and other news that impacts Great Lakes businesses.

Eric Jones
Partnering with Small Businesses in Michigan David and Goliath: Why Small Businesses Exceed Expectations
We're Ready To Talk Payroll