Motor City Match Grant Winners Bring New Services, Arts to Detroit Neighborhoods

MCM winner 161028

Mayor Mike Duggan recently announced six Detroit small businesses that will receive between $10,000 and $80,000 of Motor City Match grant funding to help them start or expand in Detroit’s neighborhood corridors. This round’s grant winners include an arts center, health and wellness businesses, innovative restaurants and even a gluten-free marshmallow company.

“The businesses we’re announcing today are the types of establishments that people expect when they think of a strong community,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “These Detroiters are proving that our neighborhoods are great places to do business. If you have an idea for a business, we want to help make it happen in Detroit.”

Motor City Match is Detroit’s signature small business development initiative. The program connects new and expanding businesses with Detroit real estate opportunities and provides them with the funding and technical support needed to help them succeed. Each quarter, up to $500,000 in grant dollars is available in addition to business planning classes and other technical assistance.

The program has helped nearly 500 businesses since its launch last year, two-thirds of which are owned by Detroiters, and more than 70 percent are minority-owned. The $2.3 million in grants awarded over the course of five award rounds have helped leverage a total of $14 million in investment to help grow Detroit neighborhood businesses.

About the Round 5 Grant Winners

The N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art – $80,000 Grant Winner

The N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art presents diverse, multi-disciplinary art experiences and serves to promote and perpetuate the cultural legacy of African-American and African diasporic art. Owner George N’Namdi is seeking to open a second location at 4230 Grand River Ave that will include an art incubator, co-working space, gallery and educational platform that connects creatives to business opportunities.

The Wise Decision – $65,000 Grant Winner

The Wise Decision is a full-service health and fitness business that offers customized fitness training, nutrition and weight management counseling including healthy cooking classes, and corrective exercise clinics designed to reduce common injuries. Owner Sterling Wise is a certified personal trainer and fitness professional and his wife Kamelia Wise is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. They have owned The Wise Decision for seven years and are opening a new location at 7640 Kercheval Ave.

Plum Health Direct Primary Care – $50,000 Grant Winner

Plum Health Direct Primary Care is a new Detroit business that will provide an alternative to the traditional fee-for-service model of health care. For a monthly fee, Direct Primary Care members receive primary health care services that are tailored to their individual needs – including annual check-ups, urgent care services as well as direct and unrestricted access to their doctor through call, text, email or in-person visits. The business will locate at 607 Shelby St.

The Kenilworth Club – $50,000 Grant Winner

The Kenilworth Club is a neighborhood restaurant and bar that includes a food incubator and restaurant accelerator, seeking to open at 9425 John R St. The farm-to-table restaurant will serve New Orleans-inspired cuisine with a West African twist, and ingredients will be sourced from a 1.5-acre community urban agriculture garden located directly behind the space.

Social Sushi – $45,000 Grant Winner

In addition to fresh, quality Japanese cuisine, Social Sushi focuses on creating a space for strangers to feel open to connect with other people. By hiring young people, returning citizens, and local creatives, the business wants their combined passion to be an element of the space. The business will locate at 16647 Livernois, next to Live6, in a previous Motor City Match winner’s space and across the street from University of Detroit Mercy.

The Detroit Marshmallow Company. $10,000 Grant Winner.

The Detroit Marshmallow Company produces gluten-free marshmallows currently sold at Eastern Market and other local food markets. They are seeking to open a production facility at 17215 Mack Ave. that aims to be the only dedicated gluten-free kitchen in the city. The kitchen will also be shared with other local small batch producers.

The next application window for building and business owners to apply to Motor City Match will be open from December 1 to January 1. Application details are available at

Michael Forsyth
Director of Small Business Services


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