Michigan Awards Grants to 41 Small Businesses Across the State

Most of the 41 small businesses received $25,000 from the state through Match on Main Grants last week.

A lot of those businesses have had a hard time throughout the pandemic, including Charlevoix restaurant Smoke on the Water who, like many others, has had to deal with short staffing.

“This year we are taking over the apartment that’s upstairs from our restaurant and we’re going to be housing J-1 workers in there so that’s part of this grant too,” said Julie Mann, owner of Smoke on the Water. “So, hopefully this will help us stay open seven days a week this summer.”

The $25,000 is to be used for COVID related expenses, repairs, and upgrades, something Smoke on the Water could really use.

“We’re going to be putting in a new kitchen floor,” said Mann. “Our stove and oven is well over 30 years old so we’re going to upgrade that and we’re going to get a larger flattop and refrigeration unit underneath it.”Business 2

The building at Tom and Dick’s Party Store in Petoskey is 68 years old, and co-owner Bet Braddock said they’ll finally be able to replace their old flooring.

“We also are going to add some hot food options,” said Braddock. “At some point we’d like to do a deli of sorts, but for now we’ll be able to do pizza, hotdogs, that kind of thing.”

The grants given are meant to keep up the job growth in Michigan and is expected to create or maintain 75 full time and 153 part time jobs across the state.