HUD grants enable the city of Detroit to help small businesses and get vacant storefronts rented.
DETROIT, MICH. — Whether you are a nine-year old reporter investigating why one/fifth of the storefronts in your town of Selinsgrove, Pa.1 are empty, or a journalist exploring why Main Street in the popular college town of Northampton Mass., feels like “a pretty New England smile with a few teeth knocked out,2” closed storefronts plague all kinds of places. Such as the city of Detroit. It has a lot of vacant property, but it’s not all blight.
Two years ago a New York Times journalist wrote, “If you have an idea you want to test, Detroit has the space for it.”
Detroit’s Motor City Match is solving two problems–igniting small businesses and addressing the city’s vast number of commercial vacancies. Officially described as a business challenge, the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grants operates Motor City Match to help promising businesses locate in Detroit by matching them with the city’s “best available real estate,” according to the program website.
The program leverages foundation grants through several partnerships so it can provide funding and assistance. Nine businesses recently received grants from $18,000 to $100,000 to help with building their work spaces and buying needed equipment. The funds will help complete new showroooms, stores and work spaces in previously empty storefronts.
More than 2,000 applicants have applied since Motor City Match started in 2015. In addition to the recent grantees, 87 additional applicants received awards for business planning, space counseling or architectural services to complete build outs. Applications for the next round can be submitted from June 1-July 1.
For more information, read the story on the Detroit News website.