Motor City Match celebrates 20th round with awarding $1M in grants, its largest pool yet

What’s happening: After first launching in 2015, Motor City Match has recorded its biggest round of grant-making yet. In its recent 20th round, the small business initiative doubled both its grant pool and total funds awarded, giving $1 million to 20 entrepreneurs in the city of Detroit. The application window for the 21st round of Motor City Match is now open.

Why the change: The increase in grants from $500,000 per round to $1 million per round was made possible by $15 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding recently approved by Detroit City Council. The increase in funding also has Motor City Match now offering $250,000 in grants to small businesses operating within city limits for at least one year.

What it is: Motor City Match is a small business initiative from 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). Foundation and corporate sponsors have helped fund the program. In addition to the grants, the program offers business services, classes, and workshops, and also connects building owners with tenants.

Why it’s important: “The beauty of the Motor City Match program is that it continues providing valuable tools and resources for awardees throughout their entire journey from idea to open,” says Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. “This program helps to ensure that once open, those doors stay open and these businesses remain essential.”

The winners: Cash winners for this round include The Goddess Metaphysical Store LLC; Craig's Coffee; Ice Cream Detroit; Bouncing Around the Motor City; Pink Diamond Beauty Mall; Thumbprint Artifacts; Juicing with Jai d/b/a Pressed Juice Bar; Our Community Laundromat LLC; K. Walker Collective LLC; Vecino Detroit; CommodiTeas Tea, LLC; Taste of Love LLC; Virtual Virtual Offices; Someday; Detroit Farm And Cider; The Rectory; Detroit Denim LLC; Le Souk; Complete Image Manufacturing; and DPI Plumbing Heating & Cooling, LLC. The winners represent all seven council districts.

Stats: According to the city, of the 1,606 total businesses Motor City Match has so far served, 85 percent are minority-owned businesses; 74 percent are women-owned businesses; and 68 percent are businesses owned by Detroit residents. There are 138 former winners currently open, and 64 are under construction. $10.1 million in grants have so far been awarded, and $60 million in total leveraged investment.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.