Paycheck Protection Program | Michigan Radio

Paycheck Protection Program

Ali Beydoun
Tyler Scott

The Paycheck Protection Program awarded about $16 billion to 128,159 small businesses and nonprofits in Michigan in the first two rounds of PPP funding. And you can use this map and database to find out who got a loan. 

Update: This article and its graphics has been updated to include smaller loan amounts. The previous version had a technical error that left these loans out.   

The federal government created the PPP through the CARES Act of 2020. It's meant to help business owners keep staff on the payroll in the wake of the pandemic and state-ordered public health restrictions – a one-two punch that slashed many businesses’ revenue. Businesses are able to apply to the program through a lender. The PPP loans were made to be forgivable and converted into grants, as long as the borrower meets all the program's requirements.

A sign of a car wash that says "Closed for Corona"
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is targeting businesses owned by women, veterans, people of color and businesses in some rural communities with the re-launch of a massive loan program intended to essentially provide businesses a lifeline of free money to survive the pandemic.

Monday and Tuesday, first-time Paycheck Protection Program borrowers working with specialized community financial institutions can begin processing the forgivable small business loans. More lenders will be able to join in the program in the coming days.

$100 bills
Tomasz Zajda / Adobe Stock

Nearly nine in ten of the more than 121,000 Michigan businesses that have received forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program did not answer voluntary questions about race and ethnicity.

user penywise / morgueFile

With a deadline looming, fewer than one in seven Michigan small businesses have been approved for forgivable loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), created to help businesses survive the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why aren’t more businesses applying for loans that could end up being free money?

Confusion about the rules and difficulty navigating the application process has discouraged some business owners, according to Sarah Russell, a certified public accountant at the Michigan-based accounting firm Clayton & McKervy.

Wikimedia Commons/Cklane90

The popular Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids plans to lay off half its staff at the end of the month.

Blandford has been growing since the 1950s, when Mary Jane Dockeray, a nature lecturer at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, convinced the land owner to donate 17 acres to start the nature center. Blandford now includes 264 acres of trails, fields, farmland and a school, operated by Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Blandford estimates 60,000 people visit the property each year, and those visits didn’t stop when the pandemic started.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump’s signing of the PPP Flexibility Act on Friday doesn’t immediately answer all the questions about loan forgiveness small business owners and their advocates have been asking for weeks.  

Restrictions on a federal emergency loan program for small businesses has borrowers worried. At a press conference Wednesday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly said lawmakers would vote on changes to the Paycheck Protection Program next week. The measure is also expected to find support in the Senate.