Which Michigan businesses got $10M from PPP?

Here’s how much politicians’ companies, media corps, lobbyists and more got in COVID-19 relief

By: - December 8, 2020 10:01 am

Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Updated, 11:39 a.m., 12/8/20

Nearly 130,000 Michigan entities ranging from small businesses to global firms have received federal COVID-19 relief, according to a detailed database compiled by the nonpartisan watchdog group Accountable.US.

Previously, data released by the U.S. the Department of Treasury only showed ranges of funds received via Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The COVID bailout tracker allows users to find exact amounts.

Nearly 20,000 of those businesses received loans of more than $150,000. Just under 2,000 entities received upward of $1 million from the program, which was established in March when Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The average bailout for all 127,020 of the Michigan recipients: $125,930.

The 20 entities topping out at the highest bailout amount of $10 million include Crain Communications, the parent media company of Crain’s Detroit Business. Many more are either construction or manufacturing companies, in the automotive industry, involved in consulting or have ties to the restaurant industry.


The full $10 million list includes:

  • Advantage Consulting and Educational Services, Inc. Southfield
  • Aristeo Construction Company — Livonia
  • Benesys, Inc. — Troy
  • Benore Logistic Systems — Erie
  • Continental Cafe Holdings, LLC — Troy
  • Crain Communications Inc. — Detroit
  • Epitec, Inc. — Southfield
  • Feyen-Zylstra LLC – Grand Rapids
  • Fisher %26 Company — St. Clair Shores
  • Hatch Stamping Company, LLC — Chelsea
  • Iconma, LLC — Troy
  • Ideal Contracting LLC – Detroit
  • Midwest Steel, Inc. — Detroit
  • Morley Companies, Incorporated – Saginaw
  • OSL Retail Services Incorporated — Birmingham
  • Pridgeon & Clay, Inc. — Grand Rapids
  • Quality Temporary Services Inc. — Flint
  • SMR Automotive Systems USA, Inc. — Marysville 
  • Sundance Inc. – Brighton
  • TSFR Apple Venture LLC — Livonia

The Dickinson County Healthcare System, located in Iron Mountain, received a $9.13 million bailout. Dickinson County currently has the second-largest number of COVID-19 cases in the Upper Peninsula as the U.P. continues to experience a serious outbreak.

Going down the list, many businesses given similarly high loan amounts are anchored in the construction, manufacturing, contracting, engineering and technology industries.


Other health care-related entities given bailouts include Independent Emergency Physicians ($6.35M), the Kalkaska County Hospital Authority ($6.16M), Orthopaedic Associates of Grand Rapids ($5.99M), Three Rivers Health Systems ($5.7M), Scheurer Healthcare Network ($5.47M), the Michigan Institute of Urology ($5.4M), Cancer & Hematology Centers of Western Michigan ($5.25M), North Ottawa Community Hospital ($5.24M) and plenty more across the state.

Some politician-owned firms and companies also received COVID-19 bailouts.

Orbitform, an assembly equipment manufacturing company in Jackson owned by state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), received $1.84 million.

The Southfield-based real estate firm Signature Associates received $988,763. State Rep. Jason Sheppard (R-Temperance) is a senior associate at the firm.

Brann’s Steakhouse, a Michigan restaurant chain owned by state Rep. Tommy Brann (R-Wyoming), received $164,033.


There also was $1.3 million for Renaissance Global Logistics LLC, a Detroit-based logistics solutions company whose CEO is John James — the Republican who lost his second bid for the U.S. Senate last month to U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.).

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office pointed out the the Advance Tuesday morning that Dr. Marc Mallory, Whitmer’s husband, received $42,200.*

The Southfield-based Vesco Oil Corp. received $4.01 million. Vesco Oil is co-owned by Lena Epstein, who in 2018 ran as a Republican to represent Michigan’s 11th district in the U.S. House. She lost to now-U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills).

Planned Parenthood of Michigan borrowed $2.36 million. Progress Michigan, a liberal nonprofit organization, borrowed $176,070.

The Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) received $308,600.

The Detroit law office of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone PLC, where GOP Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman once practiced, received $7.82 million. Plenty of other law offices across the state were supplied with several million dollars in federal loans.

Michigan Turkey Producers, as well as the business trade journal publisher BNP Media II both received $7.26 million.


In the education realm, the Michigan Education Association (MEA) got a bailout of $6.42 million and the collective bargaining agency that administers its benefits plans received $6.13 million. Michigan schools borrowing the most federal COVID-19 funds include: Albion College ($6.01M), Interlochen Center for the Arts ($5.99M), Detroit Country Day School ($4.95M) and Alma College ($4.15M).

Some well-known lobbying and public relations firms in Michigan were also given hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal loans. The Lansing-based Truscott Rossman received $422, 970; Governmental Consultant Services Inc. (GCSI) received $337,885; Martin Waymire Advocacy Communications received $242,800; Public Policy Associates received $162,300; Grassroots Midwest received $57,200; Harbor Strategic got $20,833; and Vanguard Public Affairs got $56,600.

Other top lobbying firms in Michigan given COVID-19 loans include Kelley Cawthorne LLC ($242,110) and Midwest Strategy Partners LLC ($20,832).

As for media organizations aside from Crain’s Communications, The Center for Michigan — which owns the Bridge Michigan publication – received $292,900 in relief funds. The Lansing-based Gongwer Michigan got $111,600, while Infoguys Inc., the owner of MIRS, received $102,500.

Michigan State University’s student-run newspaper, the State News, received $115,000.


Restaurant and food/beverage companies like Bell’s Brewery ($7.06M), Ansara Restaurant Group ($6.42M), Alliance Beverage Distributing ($4.64M), Burnette Foods ($4.18M) and Jonna Markets ($4.24M) were in the top tiers of federal relief cash the state.

Andiamo, the Italian restaurant in Detroit which has gained notoriety for calling on restaurants to defy the state’s COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining, was loaned $416,700 in PPP and $150,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

Numerous other restaurant businesses also owned by Andiamo’s Joe Vicari received federal funds: Andiamo of Clarkston ($187,700), Andiamo of Dearborn ($310,500), Andiamo of Fenton ($242,000), Andiamo of Livonia ($193,800), Andiamo of Sterling ($186,500), Andiamo West ($396,900) and Andiamo Catering & Event Management ($192,500).

In all, the Andiamo chain of businesses received $2.13 million in PPP loans and $600,000 in EIDL loans.

Michigan’s entertainment industry (and Indigenous peoples) got a boost with a $5.66 million bailout to Kewadin Casinos, which is owned and operated by the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians in the U.P. The Bay Mills Indian Community in the U.P. also received $2.45 million.

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) received $3.97 million.


Michigan’s oil and natural gas industry received substantial federal loans. American Gas & Oil received $2.42 million, while Great Lakes Petroleum Transportation LLC received $1.11 million. Hundreds more petroleum, propane and natural gas companies also borrowed federal dollars.

There was $616,100 awarded to the joint venture between Livonia-based Jay Dee Contractors Inc. and Japan-based Obayashi Corp., which was hired earlier this year by embattled Canadian oil company Enbridge to construct the planned tunnel-encased Line 5 oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge is currently in the midst of legal battles with the state of Michigan regarding repeated violations of its 1953 agreement to operate Line 5. The outcome of the fight over Line 5 could possibly jeopardize or at least alter plans to build the so-called Great Lakes Tunnel Project.

Utility companies including the Upper Peninsula Power Company, Great Lakes Energy Cooperative and more received several million in federal cash.

More than 2,000 churches and parishes throughout the state were also recipients of federal loans, as well as several yacht clubs.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).