Search News: 

Motor City Match milestone: 100th small business receives cash grant from Motor City Match

Oct 30, 2017

Detroit, October 30, 2017. Motor City Match reached a milestone today as Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) announced its 100th matching grant for a Detroit small business since the program began. A total of $500,000 was awarded to 13 recipients, after the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of the City of Detroit approved its 9th round of matching grants.


Among the startups and growing businesses receiving awards were a facilities maintenance company, an early childhood care center, a remanufacturer of printer cartridges, a video production company and a number of cafés, restaurants and personal care establishments. Their locations represent about 10 different neighborhoods across the city, including Islandview, East English Village, Grandmont Rosedale and others.


At the awards ceremony at PizzaPlex on W. Vernor Hwy. in Southwest Detroit – a previous Motor City Match grant awardee – Mayor Duggan and DEGC Vice President Michael S. R. Rafferty announced the names of this quarter’s grant recipients.


“Motor City Match is helping to create a new generation of entrepreneurs in our city,” said Mayor Duggan. “I’m most proud of the fact that the vast majority of these businesses are located in neighborhoods outside of the downtown and midtown core and are owned by entrepreneurs of color. The program is doing exactly what we wanted it to do.”


Nine Rounds, 100 winners, $4.4M awarded

Awards are presented four times a year in four categories: a matching cash grant, or assistance with business planning, design or location selection. In the three non-cash categories, nearly 100 Detroit small business owners and entrepreneurs will receive assistance from Motor City Match in this round.


Since the program was launched two years ago, Motor City Match has distributed approximately $4.4 million in grant funds to businesses opening in Detroit’s neighborhood commercial corridors. To date, 29 businesses have opened after receiving Motor City Match assistance, and 35 more are under construction.


Rafferty noted the breadth and variety of Round 9 winners, which ranged from restaurants to a child-care center and wedding studio.


“The Motor City Match program works on two levels to accelerate the growth of local businesses,” said Rafferty. “First, it provides opportunity for equitable business development and job creation for entrepreneurs within our city. Second, it helps create retail clusters in neighborhoods with demand for goods and services, but lacking in supply.”


The 100th grant, and largest in this round, was $75,000 to support the opening of One Stop Property Maintenance, a facilities maintenance company that owner Kenji Lemon started as a home-based business 11 years ago and has expanded to be a supplier to customers such as Detroit Public Schools and Techtown. One Stop earned a design award in a previous round of Motor City Match, and will use the cash matching funds for building out a new headquarters.


In all, the program’s ninth round grants ranged from $10,000 to $75,000. Businesses earning awards were:


  • Detroit Lash & Brow | $10,000
    17215 Mack Ave (Near Jefferson Chalmers)
  • The Social Club Grooming Co. | $20,000
    1515 Broadway (Downtown)
  • Primary Colors Early Childhood Center | $20,000
    16515-16511 Schoolcraft (Grandmont Rosedale)
  • Detroit Wedding Studio | $20,000
    2921 East Jefferson (East Riverfront)
  • New Center Eatery | $25,000
    6549 Woodward Ave (New Center)
  • D&D Cuisine | $35,000
    19329 Livernois (Avenue of Fashion)
  • Urban Flavors | $45,000
    9215 E. Jefferson (East Village)
  • The Detroit Pepper Company | $45,000
    17180 E. Warren (East English Village)
  • LPS-2 Inc. | $45,000
    1200 Oakman, Bldg. D (Focus Hope campus)
  • The Work Inc. | $50,000
    2933 Gratiot Avenue (Poletown East)
  • The Platinum Chef | $50,000
    1111 Bellevue (Islandview)
  • Olive Seed | $60,000
    3179 Franklin Street (East Riverfront)
  • One Stop Property Maintenance | $75,000
    10331 Hamilton and 10337 Hamilton (Boston Edison/Arden Park)


Many winners helped in other ways

Every three months, Motor City Match connects new and expanding businesses with Detroit real estate opportunities and other information needed by start-ups.


Along with the 13 matching cash grants, Motor City Match provides assistance to entrepreneurs who need help writing a business plan, finding a space or planning a renovation. Other Round 9 award levels included the following:

  • 50 Business Plan Awardees
  • 26 Space Awardees
  • 7 Design Awardees


Through the first nine rounds of Motor City Match, of the cash awardees:

  • 86% are located in neighborhoods outside of Downtown and Midtown
  • 79% are minority-owned
  • 70% are women-owned


DEGC’s Small Business team provides consulting and expertise to Motor City Match winners. Staffers are continually developing new resources that give start-up businesses the opportunity to be successful at every phase of their lifecycle.


“We can see first-hand the impact that this program has on the lives of not just entrepreneurs, but Detroiters who are now able to purchase the products and services they need close by,” said Rafferty. “The program is changing people’s lives.”


About Motor City Match

Motor City Match 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). Motor City Match is funded with more than $7 million in federal community block grant funds distributed to Detroit, as well as with city funds approved by Detroit City Council. Competitive financial assistance is supported by a broad partnership of Southeast Michigan community development financial institutions, Bank of America Charitable Foundation and other foundations and corporations.


The next period for building and business owners to apply to Motor City Match will be December 1, 2017 to January 1, 2018. Find application details at


Editors: News release and media kit available at:

Photos of matching cash awardees available at:

Recent Headlines