Motor City Match to help Detroit entrepreneurs grow and start businesses with $1.5 million from Knight Foundation

Motor City Match to help Detroit entrepreneurs grow and start businesses with $1.5 million from Knight Foundation

Applications for small business loans, technical support open until July 1

DETROIT – June 23, 2015 – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced $1.5 million in support for Motor City Match, Detroit’s new small business attraction and development program.

“Detroit’s Motor City Match connects entrepreneurs with opportunity” – by Michael Forsyth
An initiative of Detroit Economic Growth Association and the city of Detroit, Motor City Match is a citywide program aimed at filling vacant commercial spaces along Detroit’s neighborhood corridors. The program matches the needs of entrepreneurs and business owners with existing commercial real estate, helping small businesses and independent retailers find and invest in move-in ready properties. The match program provides up to $500,000 per quarter in grants plus technical assistance and loans to business owners to help them repair and prepare their properties.

“A strong, diverse small business community that serves local markets and neighborhoods is essential to Detroit’s transformation and growth,” said Katy Locker, Knight Foundation’s Detroit program director. “Motor City Match will encourage small business and property owners to further invest in their city – creating the potential for more local jobs, economic success and more vibrant commercial corridors that will connect Detroit’s neighborhoods and residents.”

“Small businesses are going to play a central role in the revitalization of Detroit’s neighborhoods,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Leveraging Knight Foundation’s generous contribution with other private and public sources will help us ensure that small businesses in our city are receiving the resources, assistance and financing they need to compete and succeed.”

Knight Foundation’s $1.5 million contribution to the Detroit Economic Growth Association will provide funding for the program through its first three years. Previously, the Kresge Foundation, New Economy Initiative and Erb Family Foundation provided a combined $1 million in support. The city of Detroit also has committed $4.25 million of Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Support for Motor City Match is part of Knight Foundation’s efforts in Detroit to attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of engagement. Knight Foundation, along with several other funders, has also provided support for Detroit’s “grand bargain,” an agreement between the state and the city to help ease it out of bankruptcy. Since 2008, Knight has pledged more than $80 million to Detroit, including a $19.25 investment in the arts announced in October 2012.

The first round of Motor City Match applications for business owners is open through July 1. Business owners looking to start or expand in Detroit can learn more by visiting www.MotorCityMatch.com.

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About Detroit Economic Growth Association

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) is a non-profit organization that serves as the lead implementing agency for business retention, attraction and economic development initiatives in the city of Detroit. DEGC is led by a 60-member board comprised of business, civic, labor and community leaders. Its 40 professionals provide staff services for key public authorities that offer tax credits and other forms of financing for projects that bring new jobs or economic activity to the city. Among them: the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (DBRA), Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC), Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA), and Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA). DEGC also provides planning, project management and other services under contract to the City of Detroit and manages projects for its affiliated non-profit, Detroit Economic Growth Association (DEGA).

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

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Contacts:

Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677,

Joe Manzella, Sr. Account Executive, Truscott Rossman – DEGC Media Contact, 586-615-4405,

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

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