Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered schools and many businesses to shut down in an effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. Thursday, the Michigan Strategic Fund board approved her request to provide $20 million in grants and loans to help small businesses that were affected by the order.
“You know, I think that it’s really important that we are helping relieve the stress of this economic crisis as a result of this virus in every way that we can,” Whitmer said.
The governor’s emergency order shut down bars, casinos, health clubs and other places where people gather. The money is supposed to help businesses keep people on the payroll and pay for rent, mortgages, and utilities. The funds are expected to be made available by April 1.
“Every one of these decisions has consequences, and they all weigh heavily and we take it very seriously and we try to make arrangements to help ameliorate the impact,” Whitmer said.
The governor is also hoping federal disaster relief will help small businesses keep their doors open.