Macomb County officials announced today that they will provide nearly $1 million in grants to assist small businesses struggling to meet payroll or other expenses while the state remains in a shelter-in-place status due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses can apply for grant money if they have 50 employees or less and have unpaid expenses related to rent, mortgage, utilities or payroll. A company could also qualify if they can document a loss of income related to Gov. Whitmer’s executive order that prevents travel except in limited circumstances.

“Local and small businesses across Macomb County have already felt the impact of this COVID-19 crisis – whether this means shutting their doors or laying off employees,” said Vicky Rad, director of Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.

“Our goal with this effort is to make sure they have the funding necessary to get through this period of uncertainty so they can remain open or reopen in the future and provide services and employment opportunities for our community.”

The county received $800,000 in grant funds from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and First State Bank will contribute matching funds up to $100,000. The county is pitching in $30,000. Overall, the MEDC is allocating $20 million to help small businesses statewide survive during the lockdown, with half of that money distributed to local economic development organizations.

Companies chosen to receive assistance will be awarded between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on need. County officials estimate that some 90 to 150 local businesses will benefit.

A panel consisting of representatives from the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce, Macomb Community College, First State Bank and the Macomb Intermediate School District will choose the winning applicants.

Applications will be accepted starting in about a week. Go online to for more information.