Supporting Small Business in Detroit

FROM: Glen W. Long, Jr., Chief Financial Officer, Interim President & CEO

DEGC’s marquee programs for Detroit small businesses — Motor City Match and Motor City Re-Store — are grabbing some great headlines, but they are just part of the array of resources DEGC can draw on to help small businesses succeed in our city.

Recently, we were able to provide Red Dunn Kitchen with gap financing — in partnership with its senior lenders — from a small pool of funds we have available from a federal grant for loans to small businesses. We also helped the owners of The Inn at 97 Winder qualify for property tax exemptions under the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA).

Currently, we’re working with a group of people to provide a small business loan and a tax abatement incentive that they can use with their equity to fund their start-up, and yes, we are working with the owner of Henry the Hatter as that business considers moving to a new location.

Small businesses in neighborhoods across the city are an important part of the fabric of their communities. We’re adding staff in order to keep up with demand. At DEGC, we work hard every day to find ways to support small businesses as they open and grow in Detroit.

Invitation: Alibaba’s Gateway ’17 June 20-21 at Cobo Hall to Cover Success Selling in China

FROM: Peter Chapman, Executive Vice President, Business Development

DEGC’s Business Development team is focused on engaging foreign companies and helping local companies export goods and services more aggressively and strategically overseas. We’re happy to invite you to an event designed to do just that in the China market.

Alibaba’s Gateway ’17 event at Cobo Center will be held June 20-21. Attendees will hear from the company’s founder, Jack Ma, about how Alibaba’s platform has been used to achieve sales success in China.

Furthermore:

  • Hear U.S.-based small business owners’ success stories as they share how they successfully exported to China using Alibaba’s platform.
  • Hear how Alibaba helps businesses sell directly to consumers, build their brand, find distributors, and conduct cross-border e-commerce through their web-based sales, logistics and digital marketing solutions.
  • Find partners for marketing, payments, and logistics in Alibaba’s ecosystem, and understand China’s retail and e-commerce landscape, and the buying patterns of China’s consumers.

In Detroit, we are broadening our base of small businesses among many industries. As such, DEGC encourages small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to attend. We welcome farmers, brand managers, manufacturers, food producers, high-tech companies, and anyone who is exporting or hopes to export goods to China. Alibaba will share specific solutions for business in the following industries: Fashion and Apparel, Everyday Goods, Fresh Foods, and Agricultural Products.

Alibaba’s Gateway ’17 is one of several foreign development investment and export-related forums that DEGC Business Development will participate in or co-convene this year. We hope you can join us.

Visit here to register and attend.

To learn more about Alibaba and Gateway ’17, take a look at these links:

I look forward to any questions you may have, and I encourage you to share news of this event among your networks.

 

D2D Buyer Ready Business: Liberati Group – Michael Turner, Sales & Marketing Manager

degc-detroit- growth-update_july_2016-Liberati Group

Liberati Group is a strategic media consulting firm that helps amplify the voice/vision of any brand. A small but mighty team, Liberati assists its clients through PR, social media management, business planning, crowdfunding campaigns, fundraising and more. One of Liberati’s key team members and founders is Sales and Marketing Manager Michael Turner.

What is the history and background of Liberati Group?

The three core, original Liberati members worked together to assist the Detroit Water Brigade to raise $100,000 to give bottled water/relief to those whose water had been shut off. Liberati also helped the Brigade receive nonprofit certification. In doing this we realized our passion of helping other companies do good here in the city. Liberati Group came to be by realizing that all our skill sets combined are quite powerful in helping individuals and companies.

Personally, I have a lot of entertainment/promotion experience. In fact I was on tour with Kenny Rogers at the age of 10. Other Liberati members bring in the PR, social and other talents —  combined we’re a great team.

What are some of Liberati Group’s notable clients?

We currently service about a dozen clients. Some of them include Mid City Grill, The Workers and Builders, Youngblood productions and the performer Martha Reeves (we do web, PR, marketing and promotions for her).

What is Liberati Group’s culture?

The way we function is simple: anytime we get a client we evaluate their needs and based on the services they need or are interested in we form a plan.. From there we’re off to the races. We’re dedicated to creating quality products and services.

Why did Liberati Group select Detroit as its headquarters?

I was born and raised in Detroit. Within the last year we moved into our headquarters at the Renaissance Center and have continually grown our clientele here. We are passionate about the nonprofits here in the city and helping other companies in Detroit thrive so it was the only city we considered when selecting our headquarters.

What companies have you collaborated with in Detroit?

Notably we’ve done a lot of work with the city of Detroit, specifically with CIty Council member Mary Sheffield. We’ve done two events with her so far in the community.

What are the benefits of connecting with other Detroit businesses?

Detroit businesses have a like-minded resilience — together we can do anything. There are so many benefits with working alongside Detroit businesses.

Brian Watkins

D2D Program Manager

Apply to MCM by July 1 to Receive Help Launching Your Business Idea

degc-detroit- growth-update_june_2016 Detroit Training Center

Detroit commercial property owners and entrepreneurs have yet another opportunity to receive support in growing their business. The next round of Motor City Match applications is open from June 1 to July 1.

The program aims to help revitalize Detroit’s neighborhood corridors by pairing vacant commercial property with new and expanding businesses and giving them the support they need to succeed. Applicants can receive various levels of support, including: free business planning classes, match-making between building owners and entrepreneurs, architectural design and other technical assistance, and up to $100,000 in grant funding.

With $500,000 in grant funding available, each quarter, Motor City Match is making a significant impact in Detroit’s neighborhoods. So far, the program has awarded $1.5 million in grant funding that has helped leverage roughly $10.5 million in local business investment.

Among the businesses to receive Motor City Match grant funding is the Detroit Training Center, which provides training and education to prepare Detroiters with the skills and licensing needed to work in high-demand industries. The company received a $100,000 Motor City Match grant in the fall of 2015. The additional funding allowed Detroit Training Center to expand into an additional center that offers a commercial driver’s license program and a diesel engine mechanic program.

Patrick Beal, president and credits Motor City Match for helping his company meet new demands, saying, “We could not have done this without the support we received from Motor City Match.”

Motor City Match has served more than 300 businesses and 180 commercial properties since its launch in 2015, with nearly two-thirds of the business winners coming from Detroit. Seventy percent of Motor City Match business winners are minority-owned.

For more information about Motor City Match, including application requirements, please visit www.MotorCityMatch.com.

Michael Forsyth

Director of Small Business Programs

Motor City Match Opens Second Round of Building Applications

building-owner_112

Motor City Match is accepting its second round of building applications through September 1, 2015. This Building Owner Track is for Detroit building owners looking to lease vacant commercial space to quality businesses. Buildings must be structurally sound, in good standing and benefit the community as outlined in program guidelines.

Motor City Match helps businesses locate and thrive in Detroit by matching the best businesses from the city and around the world with Detroit’s best available real estate. The program provides competitive grants, loans and technical assistance to help building and business owners realize their dreams in Detroit.

Applicants will qualify for one of four award categories:

  1. Get Ready – Applicants who meet basic eligibility criteria will have their property listed as available on the Motor City Match website.
  2. Make a Match – Building owners reaching this level will receive a building assessment and be marketed as a top destination for new business in Detroit. These building owners will receive 1:1 match making with top businesses from the Business Track. Up to 25 businesses and 25 building owners will reach the Make a Match category.
  3. Make a Plan – Building and business owners at this stage have recently signed a lease but need help planning building renovations and tenant improvements. These participants will receive design/build assistance, connections to Detroit builders, financial planning assistance, and priority permitting. Up to seven building owners and seven businesses will reach the Make a Plan category.
  4. Match Your Cash – Applicants reaching this round will already have a tenant secured, a plan for build-out and strong of understanding of the money needed to complete building renovations at the space. At this point, building and business owners will have the opportunity to apply to Motor City Match lending partners for financing. If there are gaps in financing, applicants will be considered for 1:1 matching grants that are paid on a reimbursement basis. Up to 10 grant awards will be issued per round for a total of $500,000 to both building and business owners. Maximum grant awards are $100,000 per project.

For more information and to apply by September 1, 2015 visit www.motorcitymatch.com/building-owner.

Michael Forsyth
Motor City Match Program Manager