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Revving up Detroit’s entrepreneurial scene: Motor City Match distributes $1.5 Million in cash grants to fuel 38 new and established businesses

Apr 25, 2023

  • Round 22 recipients include 18 new businesses and 20 existing businesses
  • Motor City Match fuels the birth of unique and exciting Detroit ventures, from a dog park brew pub to a cultural haven for Spanish language learners and a neighborhood home and garden center.
  • In Round 22, 88% are minority-owned businesses; 64% are women-owned businesses; and 81% are businesses owned by Detroit residents
  • Motor City Match recently doubled its impact each round due to an influx of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

APRIL 25, 2023 (DETROIT) – Mayor Mike Duggan and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) awarded more than $1.5 million in grants to 38 new and established Detroit businesses selected as recipients of Motor City Match’s Round 22 awards. The latest round of funding will help business owners launch new brick-and-mortar businesses and make vital physical improvements to existing neighborhood businesses.

This year’s awardees include a dog park brew pub, educational programming facility for Spanish language learners, a neighborhood home and garden center, and an array of restaurants, cafes and community gathering spaces. The 18 new businesses will emerge across 16 Detroit neighborhoods, including Core City, Mexicantown, Chalfonte, Brightmoor and Eastern Market.

“When we started Motor City Match, many people didn’t think there was going to be enough interest in opening small businesses in Detroit to justify the program,” said Mayor Duggan. “Now we have opened nearly 150 new businesses with 20 more expected this year. There is no shortage of entrepreneurial talent in Detroit and today’s winners are a great example of that. These 18 new businesses will bring new energy and vibrancy to 16 neighborhoods across the city.”

This funding cycle has resulted in the distribution of an impressive $1,020,000 in cash grants, which have been awarded to 18 promising new businesses. These grants will enable these businesses to establish a physical presence within the city, contributing to local economic growth. Additionally, $467,300 in grants has been awarded to 20 established businesses to facilitate necessary renovations to their current spaces, thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The program confirmed awards to 48 more entrepreneurs in its Business Plan, Develop and Design tracks in addition to the grants. For Detroit businesses still working on their projects, these grants give technical assistance, including business services, training and one-on-one advising.

In total, 86 Detroit businesses representing all seven council districts received support from Motor City Match’s 22nd round.

“Small businesses are the heartbeat of Detroit, driving innovation, creating jobs and fostering a sense of community that is essential to the city’s survival,” said DEGC President and CEO Kevin Johnson, whose organization manages the Motor City Match program. “Supporting these entrepreneurs is not only an investment in the local economy but a commitment to the spirit and resilience of Detroit itself.”

Since 2015, Motor City Match has awarded more than 1,700 businesses, resulting in 148 new brick & mortar businesses currently operating throughout the city. Starting with Round 20, the program leverages federal funding from the city’s ARPA allocation to increase both the number of grants and scope of services available. The quarterly grant pool has been increased to $1 million for new businesses and offers up to $500,000 in grants to existing businesses operating in the city for at least one year.

Integrating ARPA funding into the program represents a continuation of the city’s efforts to support businesses in combatting the negative economic impact of the pandemic. The DEGC administered over $15 million in Covid relief grants between March 2020 and March 2021 and introduced the Detroit Means Business platform to provide wrap-around services for Detroit businesses. ARPA funding, which was approved last year by Detroit City Council, has allowed Motor City Match and the DEGC to continue those efforts and target support to underserved Detroit entrepreneurs.

Motor City Match continues to grow Detroit’s small-business landscape

Combined with its other small business programming, DEGC is creating a sustainable small business environment that nurtures new concepts and ideas. Motor City Match offers business owners a wide range of assistance in five tracks Plan, Develop, Design, Cash and Restore. The program helps Detroit entrepreneurs plan, formalize, and launch their business by providing business planning classes, site-selection assistance, financial planning, legal aid, design services and gap funding.

Through 21 rounds of the program:

  • Total business open: 148
  • Total businesses under construction: 79
  • Total cash grants: $12.9 million
  • Total leveraged investment: $68 million
  • 81 percent are minority-owned businesses
  • 70 percent are women-owned businesses
  • 66 percent are businesses owned by Detroit residents
  • 1,697 total businesses served

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). 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, Hudson Webber Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, New Economy Initiative and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Motor City Match applications are available quarterly. More information is available at

Motor City Match Round 22 Cash Awardees:

  • Alpino – $35,000
    • Alps-inspired restaurant and winery
    •  1426 Bagley St.
    • Corktown, District 6
  • Cold Truth Freezery – $35,000
    • Non-dairy ice cream shop specializing in organic and real ingredients
    • 1429 Gratiot Ave
    • Eastern Market, District 6
  • Barkside – $45,000
    • A pub/bar for dogs and their owners
    • 7960 Kercheval Ave
    • West Village, District 5
  • Jessie Feliz Learning Center – $50,000
    • Facility specializing in mastery-based and culturally responsive Spanish language teaching
    • 20441 Schoolcraft Rd
    • Brightmoor, District 1
  •  KIN – $50,000
    • Contemporary bar, garden, and event space
    • 4219 3rd Ave
    • Mexicantown, District 6
  • Vesper Books & Wine – $50,000
    • Bookstore, wine bar, and bottle shop
    • 5001 Grand River Ave
    • Core City, District 6
  • The New Esquire and Delicatessen– $50,000
    • Carryout restaurant specializing in corned beef sandwiches at a reasonable price.
    • 10324 Dexter Ave
    • Dexter-Linwood, District 5
  • Samaritan Café West – $55,000
    • Minority-owned restaurant focused on delivering quality
    • 8359 Linwood
    • Wildemere Park, District 5
  • CRED Cafe’– $60,000
    • A neighborhood coffee bar, with hidden cocktail lounge and speakeasy in Detroit’s East Rivertown district
    • 6340 E. Jefferson Ave
    • Rivertown, District 5
  • Crumbs Cookie Station – $60,000
    • A baked goods company that produces a variety of gourmet cookies
    • 500 Manistique, Suite 102
    • Jefferson Chalmers, District 4
  • Phorks Grill – $60,000
    • A restaurant and crab shelling company
    • 20430 W 7 Mile Rd
    • Evergreen Lahser 7/8, District 1
  • SIPP Smoothie & Juice Bar – $60,000
    • Smoothie and juice bar
    • 3439 Woodward Ave
    • Midtown, District 5
  • Aroma Cigar Bar & Lounge – $65,000
    • An upscale cigar bar that offers premium cigars and sprits along with a wide selection of champagnes and wines.
    • 1489 Winder St
    • Eastern Market, District 5
  • Detroit Edge Management – $65,000
    • Management company that manages a modern assisted living facility.
    • 13850 Grand River Ave
    • Grand River I-96, District 7
  • The Garden Bug LLC – $65,000
    • A garden center located in Detroit dedicated to beautification.
    • 4225 W Davison St
    • Russell Woods, District 7
  • Black Rose Gallery – $70,000
    • A community art gallery
    • 16134 Plymouth Rd
    • Plymouth I-96, District 7
  • Motor City House of Stone – $70,000
    • Detroit-based stone slab distributor that specializes in high-quality natural and engineered stone slabs from around the world.
    • 8311 Fenkell St
    • Chalfonte, District 2
  • Nepantla Cafe – $75,000
    • A café serving quality coffee and food.
  • 5410 W Vernor Hwy
  • Central Southwest, District 6

Motor City Match Round 22 Restore Awardees:

  • M Fish & Chicken– $25,000
    • 16645 W. Warren Ave
    • Warren Ave Community, District 7
    • 15633 Harper Ave
    • Outer Drive-Hayes, District 4
  • Bikes & Coffee– $25,000
    • 1521 Putnam
    • Woodbridge, District 6
    • 16325 W. Warren Ave
    • Warren Ave Community, District 7
  • Coriander LLC– $25,000
    • 14601 Riverside Blvd
    • Jefferson Chalmers, District 4
    • 13237 Dexter Ave.
    • Warren Ave Community, District 7
  • Fairline Foods Centers INC.$25,000
    • 16520 W. Warren Ave
    • Warren Ave Community, District 7
  • Folk$15,000
    • 1701 Trumbull St. Suite B
    • Corktown, District 6
  • Gates Legacy Holdings LLC$25,000
    • 19236 Grand River Ave
    • North Rosedale Park, District 1
  • In Harmony Café Sweets and More – $25,000
    • 12041 Dexter Ave
    • Nardin Park, District 7
  • Mac Galleries LLC– $25,000
    • 18943 Livernois Ave
    • Bagley, District 2
  • Me Appliances LLC– $25,000
    • 16826 W Warren Ave
    • Warren Ave Community, District 7
  • Nantambu Tax & Financial Services LLC dba STRICKLEN’S TAX SERVICE – $25,000
    • 16247 Wyoming  St
    • Fitzerald, District 2
  • Nour & Zee LLC– $25,000
    • 17032 Warren Ave
    • Warren Ave Community, District 7
  • CultureDET– $19,000
    • 18943 Livernois Ave
    • North Rosedale Park, District 2
  • Royal Car Center– $25,000
    • 16630 W Warren Ave
    • Warren Ave Community, District 7
  • Spot Lite– $25,000
    • 2905 Beaufait St
    • Islandview, District 5
  • The Congregation Detroit, LLC—$25,000
    • 9321 Rosa Parks Blvd
    • Boston Edison, District 5
  • Wheelhouse Detroit– $2,500
    • 1340 Atwater
    • Rivertown, District 5

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