Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Friday, Jan. 29 the second round of projects that will receive a combined $500,000 in grant funding through Motor City Match to help them start or expand in Detroit.
“Detroit’s economy continues to grow and improve, and Motor City Match is helping to ensure that the prosperity spreads across the city and into the neighborhoods,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “The business winners we’re announcing today are paving the way. They will be renovating neighborhood buildings, creating jobs and serving the community.”
Launched by Mayor Duggan in partnership with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation in 2015, Motor City Match connects new and expanding businesses with Detroit’s quality real estate opportunities and provides them with the funding and technical assistance to help them get from idea to open.
Funding for 10 neighborhood small business projects ranged from $10,000 to $100,000 to help fill gaps in capital needed for the build out or equipment purchase at their locations.
For the first time, Motor City Match issued two grant awards to building owners leading catalytic real estate development projects in neighborhood business districts.
I’m Here LLC is redeveloping the historic Hunter’s Supper Club located on the Livernois Avenue of Fashion. The leading edge property and business development company was recognized as a “top property” in Round 1 of Motor City Match. It won top honors in Round 2 with a $100,000 grant to help support a mixed-use development at 19344-19350 Livernois, which will house several exciting new businesses. One of those businesses is Motor City Match awardee Slyde restaurant, which establish its new home thanks to Motor City Match. I’m Here will use the funds to help complete a full façade for the three-parcel property, and white box improvements for two tenant spaces, while Slyde will also receive a $45,000 grant to help with equipment purchases.
Resurget Cineribus LLC is leading a mixed-use redevelopment at 8044 Kercheval Ave. in the West Village business district. The project at 8044 Kercheval Ave. will clear, reimagine and repurpose two burned and blighted buildings, reactivate a long-vacant, century old commercial building, and play a catalytic role in the burgeoning retail corridor along Kercheval in West Village.
Other grant winners include a diverse range of businesses:
- Beautiful Bridal LLC, a bridal gown boutique co-owned by Vallery Hyduk and reality TV star Keasha Rigsby of “Say Yes to the Dress” opening on E. Jefferson;
- Astute Artistry, a licensed trade school for fashion, film and makeup opening in southwest Detroit;
- Pharmacy 4 Less, an independent retail pharmacy that is expanding to offer patient consultation, prescription and non-prescription products on Gratiot Avenue; and
- Ali-Wali Child Care Center, a one of a kind Islamic child care center that models Montessori education opening in the Banglatown neighborhood.
“We are excited about the success from the first two rounds of recipients and look forward to seeing the impact of local Detroit businesses,” said Linda Forte, chair of the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit board of directors, which administers the Motor City Match program through the DEGC. “Through two rounds of Motor City Match we’ve issued $1 million in grants that has leveraged a total of $6 million in investment throughout Detroit, and we’re just getting started.”
“Each quarter, Motor City Match helps nearly 100 businesses get started in Detroit,” said Detroit Economic Growth Corporation CEO Rodrick Miller. “Not all of them will be ready to open right away – some will receive help developing a business plan, others will get help finding the right property for their business, while others will receive technical support to plan their renovations – but all of this activity is building a pipeline of entrepreneurs who will help move this city forward.”
- 50 entrepreneurs received Get Ready awards, which provide free business planning courses. Several of these winners have already started their first classes through the Build Institute and LifeLine Business Consulting, while many Round 1 Get Ready winners have completed their plans and are searching for space in the next round of Motor City Match.
- 32 businesses received Make a Match awards. These businesses have a strong business plan or an existing track record of success, but are looking for a location in Detroit. Each business will receive match-making with top available real estate and financial planning assistance.
- Make a Match companies includes entrepreneurs like Karen Fenny who has plans to open her own store front for her business; Blessed and Highly Favored Juice Bar, a locally sourced juiced bar currently located in The American Bistro at 19416 Livernois Ave; or event-based business looking for a permanent presence like Social Sushi, which creates networking events to bring diverse groups of people together, using sushi as the draw.
- Seven business winners in the Make a Plan award category will receive expert architectural assistance to help design and plan renovations. Examples include Rebel Nell, a social enterprise that provides employment for homeless women which is partnering with the Alley Project to expand their operations in southwest Detroit.
- 55 building owners will receive assistance marketing their properties through the Motor City Match website, with 30 buildings receiving recognition as “top properties for new business.
With this announcement, Motor City Match has assisted nearly 200 businesses, awarded $1,000,000 in grants, and identified 150 real estate opportunities representing nearly 1.5 million square feet of development potential in Detroit neighborhoods.
Time will tell the true impact of these efforts as buildings undergo construction and businesses open their doors. Detroit Training Center, a Round 1 Motor City Match grant awardee exemplifies the impact the program can have on Detroit’s economy.
Patrick Beal, President and CEO of Detroit Training Center which trains Detroiters for jobs in construction and trades, credits Motor City Match for helping his company meet new demands. “Since winning top honors with Motor City Match, we’ve started a new commercial driver’s license program, a diesel engine mechanics program and have partnered with the Michigan Department of Corrections on an innovative job training program. We could not have done this without the support we received from Motor City Match.”