The Upper Peninsula is taking a big step towards recovery with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement of the Michigan COVID Recovery Plan on Tuesday. This new initiative will focus on a range of COVID related issues, and looks to bolster recovery efforts for local businesses.

The Sault Ste. Marie Convention & Visitors Bureau is excited to see the positive impact the Michigan Recovery Plan in action. It is set to provide much needed assistance to areas such as the Eastern Upper Peninsula specifically.

A part of the plan will be the creation of the Office of Rural Development, which will help rural communities. This office will be headed by local resident and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell and address issues such as broadband, talent and infrastructure. Grants will be used to provide support in rural communities and for land-based industries.

In addition to help specifically for rural communities, the Michigan COVID Recovery Plan provides $225 million for three new programs from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The Michigan Mainstreet Initiative will help small businesses by securing grants for restaurants and other place-based businesses. This will help keep Main Street communities, such as Downtown Sault Ste. Marie, vibrant. Main Street businesses have been some of the most hardest hit local businesses.

The Michigan Microenterprise Support Initiative will help small businesses with less than nine employees, which makes up a large number of the total businesses in the state, get on the path to recovery. This initiative will help make accessing support easier.

And the Business Accelerator and Resiliency Initiative completes the trifecta of new MEDC programs. This initiative provides grants to high-tech startups that can help communities thrive. 

On top of assistance for local businesses, the Michigan COVID Recovery Plan will focus on vaccine distribution, job creation, unemployment benefits, food assistance, rental assistance, property tax assistance, help for schools, and more. To read more on the plan visit here.