Detroit’s New Economy Initiative Names $100K Small Business Winners


DETROIT — New Economy Initiative, a special project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, today announced the small business winners of the $100K Challenge are J & G Pallets and Trucking in Detroit and Sherwood Prototype in Highland Park.

Each company will each receive $100,000 awards to grow their businesses. NEI has awarded more than $500,000 to 36 existing small businesses through the inaugural NEIdeas Challenge launched in May 2014.

“NEIdeas is focused on existing small businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park to grow the ‘been-ups’, the businesses who have really been a staple to our community for years,” said David Egner, NEI executive director. “As we continue to see Detroit’s small business network grow and thrive, we are thrilled to recognize companies such as J & G Pallets and Sherwood Prototype who have created jobs and helped stimulate Detroit’s economy for over 20 years, and better connect them to resources that will help them grow.”

Out of nearly 600 applicants, the two NEIdeas $100K Challenge winners represent the innovation and ingenuity of Detroit’s small business market, and were selected based on growth opportunity, businesses’ history and mission, neighborhood impact and good financial standing.

“Small businesses like J&G Pallets are going to be the backbone of Detroit’s economy in the years ahead,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “NEI has created a great opportunity to reward the success many of them already have achieved so they can remain and grow here in the city.”

NEI launched NEIdeas in May 2014 to celebrate existing businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park and reward those with the best ideas for business growth. The two-tiered challenge offered a total of $500,000 in cash rewards and was open to small businesses at least three years or older.  The two types of awards included: $10,000 for 30 businesses grossing under $1 million annually and $100,000 for two businesses that gross between $1 and $5 million annually.  The $10K challenge winners were announced in October, followed by the addition of two $10,000 “People’s Choice” winners in December.  For a complete list of winners, visit