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


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:

Spencer Olinek
Business Development Manager

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