Michigan Gov. Whitmer announces actions to support families, restaurants, and residents facing eviction

Gov. Whitmer announces programs to help Michigan restaurants, small businesses

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that her administration is taking action to support Michigan families, restaurants and small businesses among the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Whitmer Administration plans to implement another liquor buyback program for restaurants and bars and partner with Michigan restaurants to allow SNAP benefits for prepared meals. It also announced another $2 million for the Eviction Diversion Program.

READ: Gov. Whitmer hints at possibility of resuming indoor dining at Michigan restaurants

As we head into another Michigan winter, I’ll continue to do everything I can to support our families and small businesses.

These actions will ensure that families have the support they need to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads this winter, as well as provide support to local restaurants and small business owners all over the state that are struggling as a result of the pandemic. As we continue working to distribute the safe and effective vaccine and eradicate COVID-19 once and for all, I will keep using every tool in my toolbox to protect our families and small businesses. Remember, Michiganders: mask up, practice safe social distancing, and avoid indoor gatherings where the virus can easily spread from person to person. We will get through this together.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

The Restaurant Meal Program means certain food assistance recipients can use their benefits to purchase restaurant meals.

Older adults over 60, people with a disability including those who receive Social Security Income (SSI) or other disability program benefits, and people experiencing homelessness are among those who are eligible.

MDHHS is opening the program for restaurants to enroll with the aim of providing diverse and affordable options for eligible participants across the state.

READ: Second COVID relief package: Here’s what’s inside

This year has presented our state with so many unique challenges, and, every time, we have risen to the occasion to deliver innovative solutions.

We don’t have to make the false choice between protecting people’s health and safety or supporting our economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Today’s actions prove that we can and must do both, which will only make our state that much stronger as we safely step into a more normal life going forward.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission bought back almost $3.4 million in spirits from 673 on-premises liquor licensees, providing an average $5,000 in financial relief for bar and restaurant owners during the pandemic.

“We are thankful for these programs because any kind of assistance helps our struggling industry,” said Scott Ellis, Executive Director of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association. “Our number one goal is to get businesses open, which is why we urge Michiganders to do everything they can to end this pandemic.”

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Eviction Diversion Program (EDP) is designed to keep Michigan residents who fell behind on their rent during COVID-19 in their homes. 

“This year, ‘home for the holidays’ is more fragile than ever for too many Michiganders, as the COVID-19 crisis has many families still worrying about how they’re going to make their next rent or mortgage payment,” said Gilda Z. Jacobs, President and CEO for the Michigan League for Public Policy. “The governor’s continued recognition of the need to protect residents from eviction, hardship and potential homelessness during the pandemic is greatly appreciated, and it is more important now than ever as we head into Michigan’s brutal winter months. While Congress was finally able to pass an additional federal stimulus yesterday to help residents during this crisis, the governor’s important action today will help sustain the state Eviction Diversion Program and help renters until additional federal eviction resources arrive.”

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.