To further advance the partnership between Invest Detroit’s New Economy Initiative (NEI) and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Invest Detroit has hired Paul Jones, where he will serve as the small business director.
Jones’ responsibilities will be to strengthen and expand a small business network of nonprofit business organizations (BSOs) in Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park, and other Wayne County communities.
“As the economy recovers over the next 3 to 5 years, our small businesses deserve a strong, inclusive, networked set of supports, so the local economy and neighborhoods continue to grow and prosper, and those who experience traditional barriers to business growth opportunities are included in that growth,” says Pam Lewis, NEI executive director.
“These small businesses and business owners must not be disproportionately left behind in the recovery, and Paul will be an integral part of the team as we work together to support small businesses in this pandemic recovery phase.”
The initiative includes a $19.5 million fund which will offer businesses access to capital, practical assistance, information, and trusted connections. Distribution will involve mobilizing the network for quick execution and working with small businesses to identify areas where support is needed.
“I am excited and honored to lead this monumental initiative,” says Jones. “The pandemic has rocked our small business community to the core by creating unique challenges and further exposing existing, systemic issues. This moment is an opportunity to reimagine our ecosystem. I look forward to further tapping into the skill set of our BSOs, engaging with small business owners, and leveraging the plethora of data to implement creative solutions that will position our business owners for long-term, generational success.”