COVID-19 Business Toolkit
Updated January 25, 2021 - The situation with COVID-19 continues to change rapidly and Destination Ann Arbor remains fluid in our response. During this incredibly difficult time, we are focused on providing information and sharing resources to help businesses navigate the challenges brought about by this crisis.
The Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative will utilize federal CARES Act funding to provide $10 million in grants to meet the urgent need of Michigan small businesses disproportionately impacted the COVID-19 virus. Applications for businesses to apply will open on December 15, 2020. Find more information here.
The MEDC Community Development team has created a Winter Strategies resource guide to provide helpful tips to small businesses and downtown business districts for making the most of safe outdoor activities to attract customers and visitors during the cold weather season. Download the Guide now.
Schedule a Free MIOSHA Ambassador Consultation - NSF International is teaming up with the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) to provide free education and one-on-one guidance to help Michigan businesses minimize COVID-19 risks.
Register for the Restaurant Rescue Project - The MEDC’s Pure Michigan Business Connect team is working on an initiative to help chefs and restaurateurs in the state looking for new and alternative revenue streams during this challenging time. They are working with Qurate.Tech to launch a platform connecting restaurateurs and chefs with their patrons through shoppable recipes and other interactive content.
Restaurant Reopening Resources
- Managing a Confirmed COVID-19 Employee Case Checklist – The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association has updated its checklist to reflect new executive orders.
- Liquor-To-Go FAQ – The Michigan Lodging and Restaurant Association has created a FAQ about the new Liquor-To-Go law.
- Roadmap to Recovery for Restaurants – MLRA has released a step-by-step guide for navigating restaurant reintegration. The guide is designed to help Michigan restaurants prepare to reopen amid new federal and state regulations.
- Restaurants Can Register for Carry Out Michigan – Also created by the MRLA, Carry Out Michigan is a single source for accurate, up-to-date information on local restaurants.
- Employer Guidance on Best Practices for Restaurants & Bars – Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity has created an employer guide on best practices for reopening bars and restaurants.
- Restaurant Reopening Guidance – The National Restaurant Association drafted a guidance for restaurants that complements state government opening plans.
- How to Add an Outdoor Service Area to your MLCC Licensed Business – Michigan Liquor Control Commission has released details on how to comply with regulations for outdoor seating.
- ServSafe Reopening Guidance – ServSafe has developed a free on-demand training video to train operators and staff to reopen restaurants with new COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.
Hotel Reopening Resources
- Safe Stay initiative for Hotels – The American Hotel and Lodging Association initiative focuses on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations.
- Optimizing Guest Safety in Arrival & Departure – The AHLA will be hosting an upcoming webinar on June 17, covering how to create confidence and trust from the very first interaction through departure.
- COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels – Created in consultation with the AHLA's Safe Stay Advisory Council, these precautions present industry guidelines endorsed by all major U.S. hotel brands to help hotel operators achieve their top priority – protecting guests and employees against coronavirus.
- Event & Venue Reopening Guide – Complied by the Event Safety Alliance, the Reopening Guide addresses health and sanitary issues that event and venue professionals need to consider in order to protect both patrons and workers.
- The Hotel Manager’s Guide to Restarting Group and Transient Business – Created by Cvent, this guide breaks down how to continue the hospitality journey in this new era through a collection of data insights, actionable tips, suggestions and more.
Business & Retail Reopening Resources
- No Mask, No Entry Poster – Under the governor’s order, businesses must post signs at all entrances instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering while inside.
- The HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program – This program will fund solutions that help small business owners respond and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also help to revitalize and strengthen older and historic downtown commercial districts.
- Helpful Strategies to Navigate PPP and Employee Call-Back – As PPP legislation is updated, Federal Unemployment Funds are nearing an end, and business gradually begins to rise, you may have questions on how to best use your PPP funds and how to call your employees back to work.
- Reopen Main Street – The MEDC has compiled potential reopening strategies, ideas, hints and tips for businesses, business districts and organizations for entering the COVID-19 recovery phase.
- Procurement Platform Connects Businesses with PPE Suppliers – Pure Michigan Business Connect program has developed a free Procurement Platform, in an effort to help connect businesses in need of access to PPE, including face masks, gloves, and other materials to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers.
- Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces – The CDC put together guidance for reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection and planning strategies for reopening public spaces.
- MI Symptoms – Created by the State in an effort to help reopening businesses safely reengage in the economy, the MI Symptoms is a cost-free way for employers to comply with Executive Order 2020-97 and implement a COVID-19 symptoms screening for employees.
- Health Department Guidance for Business – Washtenaw County has created guidelines and best practices for local businesses, as they begin to reopen.
Local and State Resources
There are organizations within Michigan, and specifically Washtenaw County, that have resources in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 and assist businesses that are hurting due to restrictions that have been put in place.
COVID-19 Hotline - Michigan has formed a COVID-19 Hotline. Public health experts will answer health-related questions about the virus and direct you to the right resources. It is open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 1-888-535-6136
Information on how to apply for unemployment benefits in Michigan - The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity has resources to assist employees and employers. They are experiencing an influx of unemployment claims currently, so when applying online or calling to speak with an agent, expected wait times will be longer.
Microloan Programs in the Ann Arbor Region - Microloans are an important way for growing businesses to gain access to capital when more traditional financing isn’t available.
COVID-19 Workplace Safety Guidance - The Department of Labor and Economic Development has created a one-stop-shop resource to help you navigate workplace safety guidance. Find MIOSHA COVID-19 Workplace Safety guidelines, fact sheets, videos, posters and more.
Hospitality Industry Resources
Michigan Safe-to-Travel Proposed Guidelines - The MEDC has created re-opening guidelines for the travel industry.
MLCC Liquor Buy Back Program The Commission authorized a spirit buy back program which permits certain on-premises retailer licensees to sell those spirits back to the Commission for 100% of the purchase price of the spirits.
The Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund - The Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund, supported by the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation, is designed to assist employees of Michigan's restaurant and lodging industry who are in need of support.
Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (BEAP) The USBG Foundation strives to be a resource for the bar industry community. You do not need to be a USBG member to apply for a BEAP grant.
AHLA Hotel Lease Volunteer Form Officials are seeking hoteliers who are willing to enter into temporary leases for certain types of lodging properties at this time.
AHLEI Offers Free Hospitality Career Training The American Hotel & Lodging Foundation (AHLA Foundation), they are offering complimentary access to online training resources.
These national resources have put together guides and tools specifically for businesses in the hospitality industry and small business owners.
What is Destination Ann Arbor doing?
- We’re serving as conduits of information from local, county and state officials and keeping our stakeholders informed as this situation evolves.
- We’re encouraging residents and visitors to adhere to the requirements and recommendations of local and state officials, the CDC, and their health care providers.
- We’re working with industry professionals to continue actively marketing our destination while being cognizant of our changing conditions.
- We’re encouraging our residents and visitors alike to support and patronize our local Ann Arbor area businesses in ways that comply with recommendations from local and state health officials, the CDC, and their health care providers.
- We’re helping the media and the public understand the adverse effects that this situation will have on our visitor economy and how residents and visitors can help to minimize the impact to our local small businesses and hospitality community.
- We’re actively working with legislators on behalf of our local hospitality industry to advocate for assistance and relief for businesses impacted by this crisis.