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A program will make $1.25 million available to help implement COVID-19 safety measures.

July 28, 2020

4 Min Read
An idyllic farm in Michigan during autumn.
GRANTS AVAILABLE: The MEDC Small Farm Safety Grant program will award $1.25 million in grants to farms with less than 10 employees to fund COVID-19 mitigation costs. RiverNorthPhotography/Getty Images

As a result of high demand for the Michigan Agricultural Safety Grant program, and a need to help small farms mitigate risks of COVID-19 in their operation, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. recently announced it is now accepting applications for the MEDC Small Farm Safety Grant at michiganbusiness.org/agsafety.

Modeled after the Michigan Agricultural Safety Grant program launched July 15 using federal CARES Act funding, the MEDC Small Farm Safety Grant program will award $1.25 million in grants to farms with less than 10 employees to fund COVID-19 mitigation costs.

These include, but are not limited to, testing costs, personal protection equipment, facility needs, increased sanitation costs, employee training, and upgraded safety procedures for farm-provided housing. 

Related: Complete coronavirus coverage

“We saw an opportunity to respond to clear need for support from Michigan’s small farms to build on the tremendous response from farms and food processors across the state applying for Michigan Agricultural Safety Grants,” says Mark A. Burton, CEO of MEDC. “The MEDC Small Farm Safety Grant will allow us additional security in our food industry and provide much-needed relief to farmers across Michigan.” 

Grants will be limited to $1,000 per employee, and the program will cover costs incurred from June 1 through Sept. 15.

Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until all funding has been awarded. 

To qualify

To qualify for grant support, applicants must be a farm located in Michigan and meet the following requirements: 

  • less than 10 employees in Michigan, with supporting documentation

  • provide proof of good standing with the state of Michigan, as applicable (Certificate of Good Standing)

  • attest that the business is current on all state, local and real estate taxes, or is otherwise contesting them in good faith

  • have completed registration in the State of Michigan Integrated Governmental Management Applications Vendor Self-Service website before applying for grant funding

"Just like other small businesses, small farms and food processors are the backbone of the food and agriculture industry and are fundamental to our entire food supply chain,” says Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “Michigan continues to be a leader in supporting the state’s farming community throughout COVID-19. MEDC’s quick response to help our small farmers meet their health and safety needs is a perfect example of that commitment.”

According to MDARD, food and agriculture contributes $104.7 billion annually to Michigan’s economy and represents 805,000 jobs statewide. Michigan exports about $1.8 billion of food and agriculture products each year. 

Applications will be processed by East Lansing-based GreenStone Farm Credit Services, one of America’s largest rural lenders, including 31 branches in Michigan.

Other assistance available

For farms and agricultural processors with 10 employees or more, applications still are being accepted for the $15 million Michigan Agricultural Safety Grant program using federal CARES Act funding.

Other related resources available to support Michigan employers in obtaining personal protection equipment include MEDC’s Pure Michigan Business Connect COVID-19 Procurement Platform — a procurement program to assist businesses in accessing nonmedical grade PPE to keep their employees and customers safe as they begin resuming in-person operations.

The $100 million Michigan Small Business Restart Program application process also is accepting applications at michiganbusiness.org/restart. The program will provide grants to small businesses around the state that are reopening and have experienced a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Farms and food processors with fewer than 10 employees and that meet all other eligibility requirements would be able to apply for a grant through the Michigan Small Business Restart Program.

To date, MEDC has now launched 18 COVID-19 relief and recovery programs supporting more than 3,400 businesses in the state and helping to retain more than 14,700 jobs across all 83 counties.

To learn more about MEDC’s COVID-19 response programs and the effect they are having on economic recovery efforts, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19response. Other resources for economic reopening efforts as well as businesses across Michigan struggling with economic losses as a result of COVID-19 can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19.

Information around this outbreak is rapidly changing. The latest information is available at michigan.gov/coronavirus and CDC.gov/coronavirus.

Source: MEDC, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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