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Grants available to help small businesses weather the cold

LANSING — The Small Business Association of Michigan is partnering with the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to administer at least $3 million in weatherization grants to assist qualified small businesses with expanding outdoor capacity during the cold weather months to help them navigate winter and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Applications must be submitted, beginning at noon Eastern time Wednesday.

Eligible businesses may apply to receive between $1,000 to $10,000 in funding for weatherized, temporary outdoor facilities, while eligible municipalities and local organizations may apply to receive up to $15,000.

LEO identified COVID-19 federal funding to assist Michigan businesses in their winterization efforts and the grants are provided through the federal CARES Act.

Commercial firms and nonprofits with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees in the following industries are eligible to apply for funding including restaurants and/or bars; banquet centers, retail stores; gyms/fitness centers; local governments, including cities, townships, villages and counties that provide common space for businesses; commercial property owners who provide common space for tenants.

Michigan-based business owners and other eligible applicants can use the grant funds for winterization projects like:

— Temporary structures such as canopies and igloos;

— Portable heaters;

— Outdoor furniture and tableware;

— Outdoor cooking equipment;

— Fencing; dividers such as planters, hangings, or Plexiglas panels;

— Sanitizing supplies and equipment;

— Security devices;

— Electronic menu access;

— Upgrades necessary to increase capacity for carryout and delivery service;

— Delivery charges and labor for installation.

All funds must be used in support of weatherization of outdoor capacity expansions and the construction of permanent structures is not an allowable use. Grant funds are available for purchases made between Aug. 1-Dec. 30.

Interested businesses are invited to submit an application for weatherization grants on www.MiWinterGrants.org.

For full details and to learn more go to SBAM.org/weather.

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