The New Economy Initiative (NEI) has announced a $1.2 million grant from The Kresge Foundation in Troy for a new anchor business grant program that will provide grant support and practical assistance to 25 small, underserved anchor businesses and communities located in key commercial areas in Detroit.
Six community development organizations will provide support and services for the four to five businesses located in its corridor. Of the 25 businesses receiving support, 21 are minority owned.
“The goal of this program is to strengthen key anchor businesses, stabilizing the corridors in which they operate to encourage the continued operation of current businesses and attract new businesses,” says Don Jones, associate director of the NEI. “The Kresge Foundation’s support demonstrates their understanding that the smallest businesses, those with 25 employees and less, are the backbone of the economy, and are key to equitable economic growth.”
The six organizations receiving grants are Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation, Jefferson East, Inc., Live6 Alliance, Midtown Detroit, Inc., Osborn Neighborhood Alliance, and the Southwest Detroit Business Association. Each will receive $50,000 to assist with COVID-19 recovery in its corridor.
Program management and coordination will be handles by ProsperUs Detroit, which is receiving a grant of $825,000, with $25,000 going to each of the 25 anchor businesses, along with handing the coordination for practical assistance and staffing for the support program.
“The anchor businesses supported through this program are inspiring examples of Detroit’s perseverance and culture of entrepreneurship,” says Chanell Scott Contreras, executive director of ProsperUs Detroit. “Each is deeply invested in their communities and has developed creative plans for maximizing this opportunity. We are excited about this focus on small businesses and are eager to support their vision alongside our community development partners.”
The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress by strengthening pathways and removing barriers for low-income people in the U.S. to become financially successful. It invests over $160 million annually.
ProsperUs Detroit is a community bases development organization that supports Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park-based small business owners and entrepreneurs by providing entrepreneurship training, financial coaching, technical assistance, and microloans.
Since 2007 the NEI has awarded 620 grants totaling more than $127 million to organizations that assisted nearly 19,000 businesses and helped launch 3,130 more.
“Commercial corridors are barometers of community health. When they are productive and vibrant, they lift up surrounding neighborhoods both economically and socially” says Wendy Lewis Jackson, managing director of Kresge’s Detroit Program. “The grants announced today signal that community development organizations across the city recognize just how much these businesses have been battered through the pandemic and how much key anchor establishments can contribute to community recovery and advancement.”