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MI Local Biz | COVID-19 Small Business Support Program

People in front of a store in Downtown Boyne Michigan

Program Description

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, in conjunction with the Detroit-based crowdfunding platform, Patronicity, has developed “MI Local Biz”, a creative funding mechanism to offer quick access to capital for small local businesses in this great time of need. The MEDC will match crowdfunding raises on a 1:1 basis up to $5,000 for eligible small businesses experiencing economic challenges as a result of COVID-19.

Applications are now closed

Please review the Overview Document below for full details on the rules & eligibility of the MI Local Biz program.

How it Works

The MI Local Biz program is a matching grant program that utilizes donation-based crowdfunding to generate public interest, to raise funds to assist small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and help position that business for re-opening as the crisis eases. By utilizing web-based donations, businesses are accessible to anyone willing to make a donation in real time. This crowdgranting model engages the public as each person contributes in the effort to assist their local businesses. In addition, this model instills community pride as residents become a conduit of support for their local economy.

As these small businesses are the pulse of the local marketplace and affect the lives and well-being of entire communities it is vital that they continue to operate through and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

Steps to Get Started

Step 1 - Pre-Check Eligibility: Start Pre-Check Application Form below. Applicants will be accepted and reviewed for eligibility on a first come first serve basis until funding is allocated.

Step 2 - Start Crowdfunding Page: Eligible applicants will be notified via email by Thursday, May 28th and will be able to begin building out their crowdfunding page as the second part of their application through a unique link provided in the email. 

Step 3 - Patronicity Review: Applicants will have 3 days to start, complete and submit their crowdfunding page application for Patronicity review and feedback. Failure to complete a campaign page within 3 days from approval will result in A LOSS OF APPROVAL. Funding will then be given to the next eligible business based on first come first serve order in which application was received.

Step 4 - MEDC Final Review & Approval: Once a campaign has finalized their crowdfunding page within 3 days incorporating review & edits from the Patronicity Team, campaigns will be forwarded to the MEDC’s MI Local Biz team for final approval..

Step 5 - Campaign Goes Live: Start crowdfunding! Patronicity will provide technical assistance throughout the raise period.

Step 6 - Match Disbursed: If the crowdfunding campaign is successful, MEDC will match the funds raised. Patronicity will provide funding to the successful business within 5 days of the campaign ending date.

Mi Local Biz Timeline

What businesses are eligible?

Businesses eligible to receive the MEDC match of local donations associated with the crowdfunding campaign must meet all of the qualifications below:

  1. A Michigan-based small business operating in state that has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
  2. The business retails products and or services face-to-face within the state of Michigan. Examples Include:
    • Restaurants / Bars / Coffee Shops
    • Cafes
    • Salons / Day Spas
    • Bakeries
    • Retail Shops
    • Hardware Stores
    • Any other small business retailing products or services face-to-face within the state of Michigan
  3. The business has 25 employees or less
  4. The business is able to demonstrate an income loss as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
  5. Businesses with multiple locations are only eligible to undergo one crowdfunding campaign. That campaign is limited to the $5000 matching grant maximum.

While all businesses meeting the above criteria are eligible, priority will be given to businesses meeting two or more of the following location-based criteria:

  • Located in Geographically Disadvantaged Areas
  • Engaged or Certified Redevelopment Ready Community
  • Traditional Downtowns or Neighborhood Commercial Districts

Rules of the MEDC Matching Grant

Eligible businesses can seek donations through the Patronicity platform to assist them with any working capital needs they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The eligible business can seek to crowdfund up to $5,000 to receive $5,000 in MEDC matching funds.

  • The MEDC matching grant will match donations 1:1 up to a $5,000 maximum. A minimum of $1,000 must be committed in an individual crowdfunding campaign in order to be eligible for a matching grant. The program will operate under a “keep it all” model, once the minimum $1,000 raise is reached.

  • “Keep It All” Model: For example, if the business is seeking to raise $4,000 for working capital needs but the crowd only supports this raise with $2,500 of donations, the MEDC would match the $2,500, netting the business $5,000 in support. On the contrary if the business is seeking to raise a goal of $4000 and the crowd supports this raise with $5,000 of donations, the MEDC would only match the $4,000 established goal, netting the business $9,000 in donations.

  • Contributions from a single donor/source may not count towards more than 10% of the total campaign goal; individuals may contribute more than 10% but that support over the threshold will not be counted for purposes of leveraging the MEDC match. Business owners and employees may participate in the campaign, subject to the same 10% threshold for matching funds.

  • All raises must have a minimum of 10 donations in order to be eligible for the minimum match commitment.

  • Local donations must be solicited throughout the duration of the live MI Local Biz Campaign; any previous small business donations will not be applied towards the MEDC match.

Please review the Overview Document below for full details on the rules & eligibility of the MI Local Biz program.

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