Michigan Small Business Survival Grant

List of Grantees


Feb. 17, 2021

Media Contact:
Charlotte Fisher / M: 313-303-8869 / O: 313-237-4603 / cfisher@degc.org
Tracy Daniel / O: 313-324-7874 / tracy.daniel@fleishman.com

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation Distributes Over $4 Million in Survival Grants to More Than 370 Detroit Small Businesses for COVID-19 Assistance

  • Survival Grant is third financial relief program in partnership with Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to help Detroit small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis
  • More than $15 million in small business grant dollars distributed to Detroit businesses since April 2020
  • Majority of recipients are Black- and women-owned businesses

DETROIT— The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) is distributing $4.06 million in aid to 375 Detroit small businesses as part of the MEDC’s Michigan Small Business Survival Program. This brings the total in grants administered by DEGC to Detroit businesses to $15 million since the COVID-19 crisis began.

Grants of up to $20,000 are being awarded to businesses that have faced a significant financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. More than 90 percent of the grants are being awarded to minority- or women-owned businesses in Detroit.

“Issuing these grants reflects the importance of protecting small businesses as economic drivers in the City of Detroit,” said Kevin Johnson, President and CEO, DEGC. “This latest effort will have one of the fastest turnaround times of previous grants, getting much needed assistance into the hands of small business owners by the end of this month. COVID-19 numbers are improving, and we are encouraged by the vaccine distribution, but restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, neighborhood bars and other businesses are still suffering from lost revenue.”

Approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund Jan. 14, the State of Michigan allocated $55 million to implement the Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program to support the needs of Michigan businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the Gatherings and Mask Order. Funds are being distributed across 15 local or nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs) covering all 83 counties in the state. DEGC was again selected as the EDO representing the City of Detroit.

The Survival Grant application period ran from Jan. 19 through Jan. 22. DEGC will distribute all funds by Feb. 28. Businesses that have been fully closed are eligible for grants of up to $20,000; businesses that have been partially closed are eligible for grants of up to $15,000. Funds may be used to assist with payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utilities and other similar expenses.

“Our small businesses continue to feel the economic impact of COVID-19,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “We are all very thankful that Detroit was awarded $4 million in grants, which is the largest single-city award in the state. The greatest percentage of Detroit’s grants will be directed to minority- and women-owned small businesses that have been especially hard hit by the pandemic.”

Fit4Life, a full-service fitness studio located at 19522 W. McNichols on Detroit’s northwest side, is one of the businesses hardest hit by the recent order. Since the onset of the pandemic, owner Felicia Maxwell has held outdoor bootcamps and virtual classes as a way to generate revenue. With restrictions still in place for exercise facilities, Maxwell desperately needed the help she received from the Small Business Survival grant.

“Until a large percentage of the population is vaccinated against COVID-19, I can’t get all of my clients back,” Maxwell said. “I’m dependent on grants and other assistance available to me. While I’m very thankful to be a Survival Grant recipient, I’d rather be fully back to business, helping my community get and stay healthy.”

The Survival grant is the third COVID-19 financial relief program administered by DEGC in partnership with the MEDC to help small businesses during the pandemic. The first was the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, which launched in March 2020 and awarded $800,000 to Detroit-based businesses. It was combined with additional dollars from the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit (EDC) for a total of $4 million distributed to over 740 Detroit small businesses. The second financial relief program was the Michigan Small Business Restart Program, which ran from July to August 2020 and provided $7.25 million in aid to more than 900 Detroit small businesses.

A list and map of Detroit Small Business Survival Program grant recipients are located at degc.org. A grant program overview including eligibility requirements is located here.

Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program Awards: Detroit Small Businesses

Number of Grants 375
Total Grant Dollars $ 4,061,250
Average Grant Amount $10,915
% Minority 72%
% Black 53%
% Women 49%
% Veteran 3%
% Detroit Resident 46%


“The Michigan Small Business Survival Program is providing significant support to small businesses helping to get them through this critical time and on the path to economic recovery,” said Josh Hundt, Chief Business Development Officer and Executive Vice President at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We are thankful for the efforts of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, who worked swiftly and diligently to deliver these vital financial resources within their region.”

In total, the MEDC has now launched 23 COVID-19 relief and recovery programs that have supported 24,460 businesses in the state and helped to retain nearly 200,000 jobs across all 83 counties.

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC)

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is a non-profit organization that serves as Detroit’s lead implementing agency for business retention, attraction and economic development. DEGC provides services for key public authorities that facilitate incentives and other forms of financing for projects that bring new jobs and investment to the City. DEGC also manages initiatives that support small businesses and grow neighborhood commercial corridors. DEGC is dedicated to inclusive economic development and works to eliminate barriers to economic opportunity. Follow DEGC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. www.degc.org.   

Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.