Who Stepped Up During the COVID-19 Pandemic
LANSING, Mich. – This week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent letters of gratitude to more than 200 small businesses across Michigan who stepped up in exceptional ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. These small businesses selflessly pivoted their business models and put their communities first, which strongly contributed to Michigan’s efforts to keep Michiganders safe and healthy amidst these historic challenges.
“I am completely in awe of the resilience and determination of Michigan’s small businesses to stand strong and push forward during such unprecedented times,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Small businesses are crucial to the success of our economy, and we are more than ready to get back on track and uplift our local entrepreneurs to continue to make this state a great place to work and live.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses converted their machines and labor to make and distribute personal protective equipment, fresh meals, and other necessary resources to frontline workers and people in need. They also provided inspiration and offered services to combat loneliness in quarantine.
“This pandemic has made it clear that small businesses have always been the heart and soul of our communities," said Lt. Governor Gilchrist. “I am proud of the hard-working, selfless Michiganders who have supported their fellow residents and local economies. Their actions spread hope to all of us.”
Because small businesses have been so important to the pandemic response in Michigan, it has been important to Governor Whitmer to personally commend their efforts. In addition to words of gratitude, Governor Whitmer is investing in small businesses in concrete ways. Central to her plan to jumpstart the economy is the Michigan Mainstreet Initiative, a $300 million investment to uplift small businesses.
Earlier this week, Governor Whitmer kicked off the MI Small Business Summer tour and launched the Michigan.gov/SmallBusiness site to help Small Businesses navigate state programs and services available to help them not only recover but grow and thrive in the years to come. Throughout the pandemic, the state’s dozens of economic relief programs for businesses supported more than 25,000 companies and retained more than 200,000 jobs.
The state of Michigan is already seeing promising economic results: Michigan’s economy grew 7.6% in the first quarter of 2021, the best in the Midwest, and an independent analysis from the financial publication Credible states that Michigan’s economic recovery is the 2nd strongest nationwide.
Small businesses from every corner of the state stepped up throughout the pandemic. To view the list and map of Michigan small businesses that stepped up, click the links below.