The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan right this moment introduced a brand new $19.5 million fund that can strengthen an inclusive community of nonprofits supporting small companies in Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park and different Wayne County communities..
This community enterprise assist organizations (BSOs) supplies small companies with inclusive entry to capital, sensible help, data and trusted connections to enterprise assets. The brand new fund builds on the New Economy Initiative’s (NEI’s) concentrate on current and new small companies beneath 50 workers which can be navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and searching forward for development alternatives.
“In Detroit and neighboring Wayne County communities, 1000’s of small companies are underserved due to race, nationwide origin, and gender, along with the historic underinvestment in these areas,” mentioned Pamela Lewis, NEI govt director. “NEI’s funding in an inclusive small enterprise assist community will do extra for these small companies which can be serving all residents and group members by means of employment, providers, and group wealth constructing.”
Contributors to the fund embody the Neighborhood Basis for Southeast Michigan, Ford Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, The Kresge Basis, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, William Davidson Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
“Small companies are integral to the way forward for the post-pandemic Detroit,” mentioned Wendy Lewis Jackson, managing director of Kresge’s Detroit Program. “They’re employers and taxpayers, the storefronts of our industrial corridors, creators of products and suppliers of providers. They’ve been battered by the tragedies of the final yr and deserve all of the inventive assist we will muster for them by means of this community of small enterprise assist group. If our small companies can thrive, the group can hope to thrive with them.”
Danielle North, proprietor of Kidz Kingdom, is one instance of a small enterprise aided by means of Detroit’s enterprise assist organizations.
“It was groundbreaking to obtain six months of mortgage forgiveness and three months of hire help from ProsperUs throughout this pandemic,” she mentioned. “Regardless of the challenges of COVID-19, as a small enterprise proprietor, I’ve been tremendously blessed by the assist of the philanthropic group. With out the mortgage forgiveness and hire help, we might not have made it.”
To additional assist this crucial community, NEI additionally introduced a partnership with Invest Detroit which has established a brand new community director workplace that can lead and handle the stewardship and coordination position of the BSO community. The Community Director will function a convener, determine wants or assist gaps lacking from the present set of applications, mobilize the community for fast execution, and interact with enterprise house owners to make sure the community of assist is thought and related to their wants.
NEI will proceed because the grantmaker and can leverage its work to broaden its position to advocate for coverage that helps underserved small companies. Working collectively, the community director and NEI management will make sure the BSOs and the small companies they serve are geared up to satisfy their wants.
“Even earlier than the financial disaster brought on by COVID, many native organizations had been starting to work collectively to raised assist our small companies,” mentioned Dave Blaszkiewicz, CEO of Make investments Detroit. “As this work continues, together with extra pressing and well timed efforts like Detroit Means Enterprise, now could be the time to strengthen our coordination efforts to not solely survive the present local weather however to supply long-term development assist for our group’s small companies and economic system.”
“NEI has established itself as a nationwide chief in assist of entrepreneurs and small companies,” says Mariam Noland, president of the Neighborhood Basis for Southeast Michigan. “That is the correct time to associate with an skilled group like Make investments Detroit and to permit NEI to concentrate on advocating for small companies in Detroit, all through Michigan and throughout the nation.”