Small Business: For the purpose of this grant, an eligible small business must be based in and have a physical establishment in Sterling Heights, and have no more than 500 employees.  

DUNS Number: Number issued by Dun & Bradstreet needed to receive federal grants.

System for Award Management (SAM): The federal government system to track contractors that are debarred from obtaining any federal awards.

EIN/TIN Employer Identification Number/Tax Identification Number: Also known as the Federal Tax ID number, this is used to identify a business entity and to file taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

What is the definition of a small business for this grant?

For purposes of this grant, it is a business that has 500 or less employees including the owner(s).  

Who is eligible to apply for this program?

A company based in Sterling Heights that meets all the following requirements: 

  • Demonstrates a loss of revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic or associated Executive Orders; 
  • Has 500 employees or less;
  • Can provide documentation that at least 51% of full-time and part-time employees receive a pay rate of less than or equal to $44,000 per year AND;
  • The business must have a Dun & Bradstreet number (DUNS) which is currently registered in the federal System for Award Management (SAM)
  • Business has been in existence over 1 year

How is the low-moderate income determined for this grant?

Each individual who fills a created or retained job will be considered a one-person family for income validation.

2020 Income Limit

What is an Employer Identification Number and how do I find mine?

An EIN is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number and is used to identify a business entity and to file taxes with the IRS.

How do I apply for DUNS number and complete my SAM registration?

The process to obtain a DUNS number and register in SAM is free. More information can be found at: www.dnb.com and www.sam.gov.

Can a non-profit organization apply for the Small Business Relief Grant Program?

No. For the Small Business Relief Grant Program, you must be a for-profit establishment. 

If I laid people off in March and have not hired them back, do these count in the equation?

No, only employees included in your last four (4) weeks of payroll are included.

If my business is closing for good because of the pandemic, can I still apply for the grant to recover losses?


If I receive a grant, what can I use the funds for?

Grants may be used for:

  • Working capital to support payroll for employees,
  • Rent/mortgage,
  • Utilities,
  • Purchase of materials or equipment needed to adapt business spaces and activities to comply with applicable CDC and social distancing guidelines related to the COVID pandemic.

If my staff is contracted as 1099, do I count them as employees?

Yes, for the purpose of this program 1099 contract hires count as employees. Count employees that appear on payroll records as full time or part time employees for the four (4) week period prior to submission of the application.

What is a duplication of benefits?

A duplication of benefits occurs when a person, household, business, government, or other entity receives financial assistance from multiple sources for the same purpose, and the total assistance received for that purpose is more than the total need for assistance. Receiving other assistance does not automatically disqualify the business from this program. However, the amount of assistance provided by the city of Sterling Heights will be for the business’ unmet need.

In order to prevent the duplication of benefits applicants must identify all sources of funds that the business received, or will receive as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Sources of funds include but are not limited to; federal, state or local loan/grant programs, private or bank loans, and nonprofit donations. You will be required to self-certify all other COVID-19 related benefits received on the Duplication of Benefits Form prior to receiving the grant funds.  

If the business or its owner(s) applies for assistance or receives an award after the date of its application, it must immediately disclose to the city of Sterling Heights such application and/or award. If the grantee subsequently receives a duplicative benefit from another source, the grantee agrees to repay the funds to the city of Sterling Heights.

Am I able to apply for additional grants and loans to assist my business?   

Funds may only be used to pay for unmet needs/needs not met by other sources of assistance. A duplication of benefits analysis will be completed before assistance is provided through this program. A duplication of benefits occurs when a person, household, business, government, or other entity receives financial assistance from multiple sources for the same purpose, and the total assistance received for that purpose is more than the total need for assistance. The owner/applicant will be required to certify that they will repay the program for any duplicative benefit subsequently received.

Where do I email my application?

Applications will only be accepted through the online portal. You will be required to create an account login and password to use the submittable online application.

Am I eligible if I am a home-based business?

Home-based business may apply. However, all businesses must have a DUNS number and be registered in the System for Award Management

Can I apply if my business already received grant/loan funding?

Yes, as long as the assistance does not result in a duplication of benefits.

Can I apply if I am an owner of a franchise or a national chain?

Priority will be given to businesses that are not publicly traded and are independently owned and operated. If there are funds still available, we may consider franchise businesses.

If I own/lease out several buildings/offices in Macomb County, that I rent or lease out, can I apply for each location?

No, only the establishment that operates out of the building can apply. 

If I operate more than one business out of the same address, can I apply for each business?

Yes, if each business has a separate EIN number and DUNS number.

Can we be reimbursed for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) necessary to operate our business?

Yes, only if you have not been previously reimbursed for the PPE from another source (please refer to “duplication of benefits”).

Can I be reimbursed for rent, mortgage and/or utilities if I operate my business from my home?


How long with this process take; when can I expect to get the money?

Applications will be reviewed as quickly as possible after all required documentation is received.

Why are marijuana based business ineligible for this grant?

The program is funded with federal Community Development Block Grant funds. Since marijuana is still illegal according to federal law, federal funds may not be used to support those businesses.