Thursday, March 4, 2021

Gov. Whitmer announced the Michigan COVID Recovery Plan, unemployment updates

January 21, 2021
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with Chief Medial Executive and MDHHS Cheif Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun provided an update on COVID-19 in Michigan on Dec. 1, 2020. Photo courtesy of Michigan Executive Office of the Governor.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with Chief Medial Executive and MDHHS Cheif Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun provided an update on COVID-19 in Michigan on Dec. 1, 2020. Photo courtesy of Michigan Executive Office of the Governor. —

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the Michigan COVID Recovery Plan addressing vaccine distribution, support for small businesses, food and rental assistance, schools and more.

Whitmer said that the MEDC will provide $225 million to fund an additional three programs that will support small businesses as a part of the Michigan COVID Recovery Plan. 

The Michigan Mainstreet Initiative will provide grants to restaurants and other place-based small businesses. The Michigan Microenterprise Support Initiative will support businesses with less than nine employees that have struggled during the pandemic. The Business Accelerator and Resiliency Initiative will provide grants to high-tech startups.  

“The MI COVID Recovery Plan will help small businesses get through the winter, help us put more shots in arms and ramp up vaccine distribution, and get our kids back on track in school. It’s the right thing to do to protect public health and jumpstart our economy, and I’m ready to work with the legislature to get it done,” Gov. Whitmer said in a press release on Jan.19 

The plan also includes: 

  • Allocating the $575 million Michigan received to expedite vaccinating Michigan residents. Whitmer set a goal to vaccinate 50,000 people per day. 

  • Providing food and rental assistance. The plan will also waive property taxes to property owners who were not able to pay taxes last summer. 

  • Creating an Office of Rural Development that will be responsible for creating infrastructure in communities where there is a need. 

  • Provide an additional $300 million to the $1.7 billion Elementary Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund to open schools up by Mar. 1.

The Michigan COVID Recovery Plan also calls for the Michigan Legislature to permanently extend unemployment benefits from 20 weeks to 26 weeks.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) will resume issuing unemployment payments on Jan. 17. Eligible claimants who could not certify their claims up until Dec. 26, 2020 will not be able to do so. 

Eligibility includes:

  • Claimants who did not exhaust their original 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) will be able to claim the balance of the remaining weeks beginning with the week ending Jan. 2, 2021. Payments will include the additional $300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefit.

  • Claimants who did not exhaust their original 39 weeks of PUA will be able to claim the balance of the remaining weeks beginning with the week ending Jan. 2, 2021. Payments will include the additional $300 FPUC.

The Continuing Assistance Act (CAA) will extend unemployment benefits for an additional 11 weeks. Claimants will receive $300 from December 28, 2020 through March 13, 2021. The UIA is expected to have its system updated by Jan. 30  in preparation for the CAA. 

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