Michigan residents working in the hospitality industry get a shot at a $500 dollar COVID-19 hardship benefit payout. But there’s a short window of opportunity. Only 5,000 out of the 300,000 or so who may be eligible, will actually get the money. More than a handful of people looking at the situation are wondering how it came together in this fashion. Here’s what we do know.  The state Treasury Department is awarding a grant of $2.5 million to the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association.  The association is now in charge of distributing $500 benefit payments to industry workers.  If that’s you, you’ll need to prove you were employed in the industry as of March 10th. And you’ll have to show proof the Governor’s shutdown orders affected your income. And it’s a first come first serve deal. Based on the numbers, only 5,000 of the payments are going to be handed out.  What may the remaining 295,000 affected workers do if they’re rejected?  Anyone’s guess at this point.

An earlier survey by the state restaurant association showed 23% of the member restaurant owners figured they’d be forced to permanently close due to the shutdown order from Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

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