Motor City Match Opens Second Round of Building Applications

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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

NEIdeas rewards 30 “been-up” businesses with $10,000 grants

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A clothing design studio will buy an industrial sewing machine, an urban farm will buy land for Detroit’s first vineyard, a barber shop will buy equipment to start sharpening and repairing hair clippers, and so it goes for 27 other small Detroit businesses whose business plans earned them $10,000 grants from the New Economy Initiative.

A total of 600 Detroit companies based in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park, all in business for at least three years, applied for the first NEIdeas grants. The two-tiered challenge offered a total of $500,000 in cash rewards: $10,000 for 30 businesses grossing under $1 million annually and $100,000 for two businesses that gross between $1 and $5 million annually. The $100k challenge winners will be announced later this month.

“Small businesses and entrepreneurs have been crucial to our city for many decades – from paying taxes, to hiring local employees and being anchors for their neighborhoods,” said David O. Egner, NEI Executive Director.

“Growing small businesses in Detroit is central to our administration’s strategy for building our economic base and creating employment opportunities for Detroiters,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “We appreciate the New Economy Initiative for being such a great partner in Detroit’s revitalization.”

NEIdeas was operated in partnership with DEGC. We conducted an outreach program that featured more than two dozen “Ambassador” organizations and institutions throughout all three cities that provided small businesses with information and guidance throughout the application process. We also managed the juried selection process.

“This landmark challenge provided a nice boost to our work with small businesses throughout the city,” added Rodrick T. Miller, president and CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. “NEIdeas gave us the opportunity to connect more companies to all the forms of assistance we can provide, and in that respect it made every applicant a winner.

A full listing of the winners can be found online at: http://neideasdetroit.org/10k-winners/

Spencer Olinek
Business Development Manager

DEGC hosts NewCo session on September 18

 

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Parkway Foods Grand Opening

For a second consecutive year, Detroit’s most innovative companies will open their doors September 18 to executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and future influencers during NewCo Detroit, and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is pleased that we were chosen as a presenting organization.

NewCo is a new kind of event experience: a mashup of an open studio tour and a business conference, with the vibe of a music festival. NewCo Detroit is designed to celebrate the spirit of innovation that embodies so many of the organizations in the city, including ours.

DEGC will be hosting its NewCo event at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18 at our downtown headquarters. We will be presenting two innovative efforts to revive neighborhoods with retail businesses, REVOLVE and the Green Grocer Project. REVOLVE Detroit is our collaborative program that partners with local leaders, building owners, entrepreneurs and artists to activate vacant storefronts with transformational businesses and art installations. The goal of the program is to foster the evolution and vibrancy of Detroit’s neighborhood business districts.

The Detroit Green Grocer Project has helped support competitive, sustainable grocery stores in Detroit while improving fresh food offerings for residents. It has worked with independent grocers to improve stores inside and out and to plan moves and significant expansions. We invite you to attend and share in some Detroit-themed treats!

Overall, NewCo offers attendees a chance to meet innovators in their native habitat and hear from executives how they are trying to change the world with Detroit as their home bases. Investors, entrepreneurs, and anyone curious for a look inside Detroit’s resurgence is welcome to register. We hope to see you here! Visit www.det.newco.co to learn more.

Malinda Jensen
Director of Business Development

Two new pop-up businesses coming to Grandmont Rosedale

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Anahata Yoga, a studio offering Hatha yoga, and Love Travels Imports, a social enterprise of fair trade and handmade artisan wares, have been selected by Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC) and REVOLVE Detroit to create two new pop-up shops on Grand River Avenue in Detroit’s distinguished Grandmont Rosedale community.

Love Travels Imports, owned by Yvette Jenkins, will be located at 19120 Grand River, also the new home of WorkPlace, a neighborhood business incubator and co-working facility. Jenkins will manage WorkPlace and serve part-time as GRDC Economic Development Manager. This is the second location for Love Travels Imports, which opened a pop-up-turned permanent business on Livernois Avenue. Love Travels Imports will hold its Grandmont Rosedale grand opening September 20.

Anahata Yoga, owned by Regina Ward and Nicole A. Martin, will be located at 19560 Grand River. It will hold its grand opening on Sept 20 as well.

The owners of the two shops will receive assistance and resources to help create their pop-up locations as well as favorable rent terms during the pop-up, with the support of a Growing Communities grant from Charter One.

In addition, four other new businesses were selected to host events in the community through the end of December, including: apparel and fashion showcases with Funky Junk and Juju, and Dressing With a Purpose; Car-Go Paint painting classes and events; and Tender Moments holiday and event planning workshops.

REVOLVE Detroit is proud to use its pop-up strategy in yet another Detroit community to help both the businesses and the neighborhood. We know from our experience it can have a lasting effect on both.

Michael Forsyth

Business Development Manager

REVOLVE Detroit team earns Crain’s “Intrapreneur” Award

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Crain’s Detroit Business has named DEGC’s REVOLVE Detroit as part of its annual Salute to Entrepreneurs issue. REVOLVE program manager Michael Forsyth and his associate, Lori Allan were individually honored in the “Intrapreneur” category for their work inside DEGC creating innovative ways to connect retail store owners, startups, property owners, community organizations and artists. DEGC launched REVOLVE Detroit in the fall of 2012. Since then, Forsyth and Allan have worked under the REVOLVE banner to help revitalize West Village, the Livernois corridor, and as described in another article in this Growth Detroit Report, Grandmont Rosedale.

Crain’s annually recognizes entrepreneurs who are noteworthy for their innovation, problem solving ability or sheer relentlessness. Forsyth told Crain’s, “Being an intrapreneur is about understanding the mission of your organization and staying true to that, but taking a different path to get there.” In the case of REVOLVE, that meant using Facebook, and other social media tools to promote participation, hosting a program-specific website, and recruiting Lori Allan to help write, design and post web and print materials to promote the program. Allan started at DEGC as an intern while studying at University of Detroit Mercy, and she demonstrated such a wide variety of skills that she was hired as a communications and marketing consultant for REVOLVE.

Forsyth and Allan will be recognized along with the entrepreneurs that Crain’s is saluting at a lunch program July 24 at The Henry in Dearborn.

Tiffini Smith

Director of Corporate Communications