Detroit Means Business receives $9M of federal aid to help small businesses

About $9 million will be going toward boosting up small businesses in Detroit.

On Wednesday the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the City of Detroit announced that Detroit Means Business received millions of dollars which will soon be available to help small businesses prosper.

"Nine million allocation out of the American Rescue Plan Act for small business services," said Kevin Johnson, DEGC president.

It comes as many small businesses work to stay alive

"The impact of the pandemic has not been fully pushed out of the system yet," Johnson said. "Now we’re dealing with inflation, we’re dealing with possibly, a recession."

But for some small businesses like those on the Avenue of Fashion, many were trying to survive a streetscape beautification project before the pandemic even started.

"From streetscape to pandemic, we open literally without a sidewalk," said Dawn Sanford, the owner of Shears and Shaves.

The owner of Shears and Shaves has long advocated for more funding to be made available to entrepreneurs like herself, who are working to navigate and overcome obstacles.

"Thank you to the federal government, the city, the state, we thank you for hearing us," she said.

Funding will help small business owners in many ways, Johnson said.

"Help them write down those debts as best as we can, and were using about $3 million to do that," Johnson added. "And then $2 million will go toward technical assistance, mentoring, coaching, workshops to help these businesses that we’re supporting - and move them in the position thriving than just surviving."

Many small business owners say it’s the type of funding that helps them move forward despite the obstacles.

"If it weren’t for programs like that we would not be in existence," Sanford said.

Business owners can get their applications in for financial support through Detroit Means Business. Johnson said he expects sometime by fall the criteria will be announced. 

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Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson