Detroit's NEI $500K Small Business Program Back for Second Year


NEIdeas, a program that grants cash awards to established small businesses in Detroit, Highland Park, and Hamtramck returns for a second year on May 7, when the application process officially opens. This year, $500,000 will be awarded to more than 30 businesses.

“We were blown away by the response of great ideas for business growth put forth by so many different types of small businesses during the first year of NEIdeas,” says Dave Egner, executive director of NEI. “Small business growth is crucial to Detroit’s success, as they hire local employees, pay taxes, and serve as anchors in their neighborhoods.”

Thirty applicants will be awarded $10,000 each (businesses that gross under $750,000 annually), while two businesses that gross more than $750,000 a year, but under $5 million, will be awarded $100,000 each. Businesses must be at least three years old to enter.

Last year, nearly 600 businesses applied to the NEIdeas challenge, ranging from food and retail businesses to manufacturing companies. Nearly 80 percent of the businesses that applied to the $10,000 challenge were minority-owned, and about 60 percent were woman-owned. Winners in 2014 include Anthology Coffee, Sweet Potato Sensations, and J&G Pallets and Trucking, all based in Detroit.

The application deadline for the $10,000 challenge is June 4, while the deadline for the $100,000 challenge is June 25. To apply visit,