Neighborhood Restaurants Opening At a Fast Pace

FROM: Michael Rafferty, Vice President, Small Business Services

There’s a restaurant resurgence underway in Detroit neighborhoods … by Detroiters. Across our city Detroiters are opening local restaurants and eateries with unique themes that celebrate cultures and support the community.

Just last week, PizzaPlex opened on Vernor Highway in southwest Detroit to “create comfortable spaces and serve good food for a more sustainable city.” Two weeks ago, Brix Wine & Charcuterie Boutique opened its doors in a bank it renovated in the historic West Village district. Coming next spring, Simply Breakfast will open on West McNichols. Owner Ken Brown plans to employ returning citizens and provide them with the time, tools and training to make a successful transition back into the community.

And the list goes on! There’s Detroit Vegan Soul, with locations in West Village and Grandmont/Rosedale; Social Sushi pop-ups all over the city; and Narrow Way Café, which opened in August on Livernois, Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion.

It seems like every month there are more places to mix, mingle and eat in Detroit’s neighborhoods. That’s great news because restaurants and cafes create foot traffic and can be the seeds for walkable neighborhoods and small business development around them. They are destinations and gathering places that add to the vibrancy of our city.

DEGC is proud to support both new and existing small businesses through our Motor City Match and Motor City Re-Store programs, which combined award $1 million in matching grants each quarter. In fact, all the restaurants I mentioned have won a Motor City Match grant. Motor City Match is now starting its third year of supporting city entrepreneurs while Motor City Re-Store was launched this June and will announce its first grant winners later this fall.

We know there are many more eateries in the pipeline, since Motor City Match awarded cash grants to six specialty cafes or restaurants, a mushroom farm and two microbreweries last month. So, as you can see, Detroit’s food scene is “boiling” as Detroiters make the Motor City a culinary destination for our region. We’re happy to be a part of this resurgence.

DEGC Programs Actively Connect Detroit Business with Opportunity

FROM: Michael Rafferty, Vice President, Small Business Services

Three small business programs are actively connecting Detroiters with opportunities to renew and expand their businesses.

D2D
The D2D program is an ongoing pipeline to match developers with local contractors specializing in renovation, rehabilitation and redevelopment projects.

Recently, Joe Tate and Keyra Cokley hosted a D2D PRO Session for Detroit contractors to showcase opportunities with the new Pistons Performance Center and Henry Ford Health System Center for Athletic Medicine. The $70 million construction project will kick off this fall for an anticipated opening in mid-2019. The 167,000-sq. ft. facility will house the headquarters for Palace Sports & Entertainment as well as basketball courts, advanced training rooms and a parking structure.

More than 60 representatives of Detroit’s business community came to learn more about the project and the opportunities available.

“The D2D PRO Session on the Detroit Pistons Performance Center and Henry Ford Health System Center for Athletic Medicine provided not only several bidding opportunities within the city of Detroit, but created an environment that fosters other collaborative project opportunities with my peers in the construction industry,” said Kimle Nailer, president, Nail-Rite Construction Company, Inc.

The next PRO Session is September 8, 2017, and will focus on 7 LIV, a mixed-use development of retail, residential and parking on the corner of 7 Mile Rd. and Livernois. The estimated investment is $8 million.

Motor City Match
Motor City Match (MCM) connects entrepreneurs who operate new or expanding businesses in Detroit with real estate opportunities and a variety of other resources. Since launched by the Mayor in early 2015, more than $3.9 million in grants have been awarded to 87 winners, and infused a total of $24 million in Detroit’s neighborhood commercial corridors. Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis throughout the year.

On August 14, Motor City Match announced 13 matching grant awards totaling $500,000 to a variety of businesses in neighborhoods across the city of Detroit, including Rosedale Park, Islandview, Bagley, Southwest, We Care Community, Boston Edison and Jefferson. MCM will provide additionally selected entrepreneurs assistance with business plan writing, space locating and renovation planning.

The next application window for building and business owners to apply for grants and other assistance opens Friday, September 1, 2017, and closes October 2, 2017.

Motor City Re-Store
The newest program, Motor City Re-Store, helps established neighborhood businesses boost their curb appeal. Every three months, selected businesses will receive matching grants to improve the exterior of their business and enhance Detroit’s walkability and attractiveness.

Its next application window also opens September 1 and closes October 1.

DEGC is proud to offer a network of support for every kind of small business in every phase of growth. Working in partnership with Mayor Duggan’s office and private, philanthropic, and non-profit organizations, our goal is to help businesses locate and thrive in Detroit.

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.

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

NEI Awards $300,000 in Grants to 30 Small Businesses

 

NEIdeas-winners-2

Thirty small businesses from across Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park each received $10,000 awards on November 2 from the second annual “NEIdeas: Rewarding Ideas for Business Growth” challenge.

New Economy Initiative (NEI), a special project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM), launched NEIdeas in May 2014 to celebrate existing businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park and reward those with the best ideas for business growth.

This was the second year of the two-tiered challenge which has given over $1 million in cash rewards and was open to small businesses at least three years or older. The two types of awards included: $10,000 for 30 businesses grossing under $750,000 annually and $100,000 for two businesses that gross between $750,000 and $5 million annually. The $100k challenge winners will be announced in December.

NEIdeas was operated in partnership with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). DEGC participated in the jury process and lead an outreach program that featured more than two dozen “Ambassador” organizations and institutions throughout all three cities, providing small businesses with information and guidance throughout the application process.

“Over the past two years, NEIdeas has given us the opportunity to connect with more than 1,100 small businesses in the city,” said Rodrick T. Miller, president & CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. “NEIdeas, with its focus on existing businesses is a critical piece of Detroit’s small business support system. This system is essential in helping every Detroiter participate in our economic expansion.”

Spencer Olinek
Strategic Partnerships Manager