Grants Offered to Grow Local Food Businesses

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DETROIT — Citizens Bank, Eastern Market Corp., and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. today announced the latest round of of micro grants through Eastern Market to support food-based small businesses in metro Detroit. The grant consists of $60,000 from Citizens Bank and $150,000 from MEDC.

 “This effort has helped so many small Detroit-based businesses that often don’t have access to capital, grow and prosper,” says Randall Fogelman, vice president of business developmentf for Eastern Market Corp.

Funding from Citizens Bank is coming through its Growing Communities program, an urban economic development initiative that focuses on job creation and reinvigorating neighborhoods by leveraging Michigan’s agricultural industry. Funding from MEDC is part of its economic gardening strategy to connect businesses, state and local government, and community partners to create a nurturing environment for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

“We have seen a great return on our investment in Michigan’s growing local food industry,” says Rick president, Citizens Bank in Michigan. “This money will help contribute to a more successful economy by helping to create more local jobs and supporting local small businesses.”

Grants awarded through the Citizens Bank Growing Communities program and MEDC funding will assist in providing a variety of small food-based businesses the opportunity to buy equipment, acquire land and hire staff.

“This is the kind of high-impact public-private partnership that can serve as a model in communities across the state,” says MEDC CEO Steve Arwood.

Last year, more than 30 food businesses, most of which sell products at Eastern Market, were awarded funds from the Growing Communities grant program. Local jam producers Slow Jams and Beau Bien, for example, were both able to use Growing Communities funds to purchase piston-fillers (automatic jar-filling machines) for their growing jam businesses.

Grant applications can be found on easternmarket.com. The application deadline is Aug. 21.

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