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Gov. Whitmer announces Employee Assistance Grants have been mailed to more than 55,900 Michiganders

The Michigan Department of Treasury started mailing checks to approved grant recipients on March 17.
After the first “Stay Home, Stay Safe” precautions were set in early 2020, the MRLAEF founded...
After the first “Stay Home, Stay Safe” precautions were set in early 2020, the MRLAEF founded the Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund.(WJRT)
Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 6:38 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Thursday Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced more than 55,900 individuals who work in entertainment, recreational and indoor food-service venues will begin receiving grant payments of $793.

Applications for the grant were processed through the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation (MRLAEF).

The grants are part of the Employee Assistance Grants program, which was created through a $45 million bipartisan budget appropriation signed by Gov. Whitmer late in 2020. Michiganders whose employment was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic were eligible to apply for the grants in January.

“As we continue to address the effects of COVID-19, our top priority is providing financial relief to Michigan families and small businesses, so that we can grow our economy and get back to normal,” Gov. Whitmer said. “This special grant program puts dollars in the pockets of Michiganders who work in hospitality, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services sectors as well as the gym and fitness sectors. These Michiganders have made great sacrifices and continue to make great sacrifices as we fight COVID-19.”

Michiganders impacted by MDHHS pandemic orders must have been working in one of the following industries in order to qualify for an Employee Assistance Grant:

  • Bars
  • Banquet Halls
  • Bowling Alleys
  • Cafeterias
  • Casinos
  • Caterers
  • Food Trucks
  • Golf Courses
  • Hotels, Motels, Bed & Breakfast, Resorts
  • Nightclubs
  • Restaurants
  • Theaters
  • And other such recreational facilities.

The MRLAEF processed the applications in January and February and informed applicants of their approval or denial. The Michigan Department of Treasury started mailing checks to approved grant recipients on March 17.

“Michigan’s restaurant and hotel employees need help,” said Justin Winslow, President & CEO of the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association. “We are honored to administer these much-needed grants. These dollars provide assistance for the hardship experienced during these extraordinary times.”

Applicants must have been Michigan residents, demonstrated proof of employment in one of the industries noted above on Nov. 18, 2020, when the MDHHS pandemic orders took effect and proved to be negatively impacted financially because of furlough, layoff, job loss or a reduction in hours worked.

After the first “Stay Home, Stay Safe” precautions were set in early 2020, the MRLAEF founded the Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund. Since its inception, the foundation has raised several million dollars for displaced restaurant and hotel workers and processing many checks for those in need, including CARES Act dollars approved by the Michigan Legislature and signed by Gov. Whitmer.

More information about the grant program is available on the Employee Assistance Grants website.

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