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From Pierre Batton, Vice President of Small Business Services

As part of our continued dedication to building retail density in Detroit’s neighborhoods, DEGC today announced 53 winners of our Motor City Match program. Eleven of today’s Round 15 business owners received cash grants totaling nearly $500,000. The program, celebrating five years of building retail density, awards entrepreneurs a variety of resources to help them get from “idea to open,” including business plan, space, design and other technical assistance.

“Over the past four years, the Motor City Match program has helped cultivate a whole new generation of entrepreneurs in our city,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “In addition to bringing more goods, services and jobs to our neighborhoods, this program is helping to reactivate vacant storefronts along many of our commercial corridors.”

Playa Vs. Playa, a gaming and entertainment business in the Fitzgerald neighborhood, is one of the cash recipients awarded today. Owner Lance McGhee, II, received a $60,000 cash award to help rehabilitate his building and purchase furniture and equipment. He said Playa Vs. Playa will provide the surrounding communities with an inclusive, safe cross-generational facility that features e-sports competitions and training, as well as contemporary and retro video and board games.

“We are turning a dilapidated structure into a place where students, families and neighbors can interact in a positive and fun setting,” McGhee said. “Playa Vs. Playa is near both Mumford and University of Detroit high schools, making it a safe and convenient place for kids to come after school. The building will have a small kitchen and smoothie bar, and feature a multi-purpose room available for classes, meetings, parties or other community events.”

Small-business success is crucial to the overall prosperity of Detroit, including adding neighborhood jobs, building our city’s middle class and creating a culture of entrepreneurialism. The MCM program launched as the first of its kind in the country nearly five years ago. Fast forward to 2019, we’re seeing increased small-business density in our commercial corridors and new opportunities for residents to share in the midst of Detroit’s success.

Motor City Match continues to grow Detroit’s small-business landscape
The MCM program has successfully aided more than 1,300 entrepreneurs through 15 rounds. Through its pipeline of resources MCM has awarded $7.5M in cash grants to 170 entrepreneurs on their journey from “idea to open.” Combined with its other small-business programming, DEGC is creating a sustainable small-business environment that nurtures new concepts and ideas. Other business owners have received a variety of other critical services, including finance workshops, design, technical and business planning assistance, and business/building matchmaking. MCM awards are presented in four categories: matching cash grant, assistance with business planning, design or location selection. Round 16 applications are currently being scored.

Through 15 rounds of the program:

  • 81 percent are minority-owned businesses
  • 70 percent are women-owned businesses
  • 63 percent are businesses owned by Detroit residents
  • Total cash grants: $7.5 million
  • Total leveraged investment: $41 million
  • Total business open: 64
  • Total businesses under construction: 49

MCM is a unique partnership between the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit (EDC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Competitive financial assistance is supported by a broad partnership of Southeast Michigan community development financial institutions and corporations including, Bank of America, Fifth Third Bank, Ford Foundation, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Foundation, Hudson Webber Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, New Economy Initiative and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

A complete list of awardees can be found at motorcitymatch.com