LANSING, MI – Michigan is one of five states that was awarded federal funding last month to support job growth and small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Department of Treasury granted Michigan nearly $237 million when it approved the first round of the State Small Business Credit Initiative. The $10 billion program was established nearly a decade ago to promote entrepreneurship and increase access to capital.
“Ensuring small businesses can thrive and create good-paying jobs in every region of Michigan is critical as we continue growing our economy, driving down unemployment, and uplifting working families,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.
The SSBCI program partners with private sector lenders and investors.
Related: Thousands of Michigan businesses launched during the pandemic. The boom remains strong.
About one-third of the funding will support the Michigan Business Growth Fund Collateral Support Program, which targets industries with high wages and high job growth potential. This includes manufacturing, medical device technology, engineering and agribusiness, according to the treasury department.
Additional dollars will go towards historically underserved entrepreneurs and Michigan’s smallest businesses—those with 10 employees or less.
“This historic investment will help reduce the barriers that prevent small businesses and entrepreneurs from getting their ideas off the ground, building successful businesses, and creating jobs, especially in traditionally underserved communities where these opportunities are needed most,” said a statement from Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo.
This flow of federal dollars comes as Michigan experienced a spike in small businesses. During the first three quarters of 2021, the state tracked the fastest start to small business job growth in 23 years.
Small businesses, with fewer than 50 employees, created almost 170,000 jobs last year.
Related: Michigan’s small businesses had a growth spurt in 2021, highest new job count in two decades
Whitmer said the program will continue to “empower economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs and small businesses” to grow their ventures and create more jobs.
Nationwide trends also point to an explosion of entrepreneurship. Americans applied to started 5.4 million news businesses last year, according to the treasury department, 20% more than other years on record.
Other states awarded initial SSBCI funding include Hawaii approved for $62 million, Kansas for $69 million, Maryland for $198 million and West Virginia for $72 million.
The Michigan Strategic Fund expects to get the first round of funding, about $72 million, within the next two months. Businesses looking to tap into the program should contact a local lender to talk about financing with SSBCI support.
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