By Mike Kruzman /

The state is partnering with a Michigan organization dedicated to advancing equality and opportunity to women and girls to create a fund that will help small businesses affected by the outbreak.

The Michigan Economic Development Council (MEDC) announced this week that they are joining forces with Michigan Women Forward for the creation of the $1.5-million Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund. Created in 1986, Michigan Women Forward encourages women to play active roles in philanthropy and government.

The fund will provide recovery grants of $1,000 to $5,000, and microloans of $5,000-$10,000 to small businesses and entrepreneurs affected by COVID-19 closures. It is expected that at least 150 Michigan businesses will benefit. Funds awarded can be used to support small businesses in managing expenses through the recovery phase. This could include helping with rent, payroll, or inventory. Money awarded can also be used as working capital to assist with increased product or service demand in response to the outbreak, allow a company to strengthen its online presence, or start up a new company to meet demand as a result of COVID-19.

Applicants will be evaluated on a rolling basis until the funds are depleted. Eligible candidates will be prioritized based on demonstrated needs like being located in a designated disadvantaged area, demonstrating status as a low-to-moderate income borrower, and being a diverse business that can demonstrate ownership by underrepresented groups like veterans, minorities, and low-income men and women.

A link to apply can be found at