Business Owner

The Business Track is for entrepreneurs looking to start or expand in Detroit. Whether you have an idea or a plan or you are looking for space or already renovating a space, there are resources available to help your business thrive.

Business must locate in the city for at least two years and demonstrate a benefit to the community, as outlined in program guidelines.

Business owners may compete for high assistance levels in upcoming quarters.

Applications and Award Dates

Applications are due the first day of every quarter and will be available one month prior. Awards determinations are made no later than the end of that [quarter].

  • Round 8: applications are available Mar 1 and due Apr 1, 2017.
    Awards are made by June 30, 2017.
  • Round 9: applications are available Jun 1 and due Jul 1, 2017.
    Awards are made by Sept 30, 2017.
  • Round 10: applications are available Sep 1 and due Oct 1, 2017.
    Awards are made by Dec 31, 2017.
  • Round 11: applications are available Dec 1 and due Jan 1, 2018.
    Awards are made by March 31, 2018.

How it works

First, apply online or via printed application. Printed applications are available at the office of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation at 500 Griswold Street Suite 2200 Detroit, MI 48226.

The application collects some basic information about you and your business so we can know how to help. Award levels are designed to offer assistance depending on where you are in the business development process.

Applicants will qualify for one of four awards:


SpaceBusiness Plan

Who: First-time entrepreneurs that need help transforming their business idea into a business plan.

What: A free business planning class. Up to 50 entrepreneurs will receive free business planning classes per quarter.

Minimum Requirements

  • A great business idea

Application Link


Who: Business with a great business plan or a track record of success that are searching for space.

What: Business will receive 1:1 match making with the top 25 properties in the Building Track. Businesses will also benefit from expert guidance on leasing, financing planning and assessing market opportunities. Up to 25 businesses will receive this award.

Minimum Requirements

  • A great business idea
  • A great business plan or growth plan

Application Link


Who: Business owners and their landlords who have recently signed a lease but need help planning building renovations and tenant improvements.

What: These participants will receive design assistance from a professional architect as well as priority permitting. The architect will provide construction documents, while the Motor City Match team facilitates priority permitting, connections to Detroit builders, and financial planning assistance. Up to seven business owners and their landlords will receive Design awards per quarter.

Minimum Requirements

  • A great business idea
  • A great business plan to growth plan
  • A location secured. Business owners must have a signed lease or letter of intent with a building owner (or deed if building will be owner occupied)

Application Link


Who: Business owners that have a location secured, a plan for build-out and strong understanding of the money needed to complete their project prior to opening for business.

What: Business owners and their landlord will have the opportunity to apply to Motor City Match lending partners for project financing. If there are gaps in financing, applicants will be considered for grants that are paid on a reimbursement basis. Up to 10 grants awards will be issued per round for a total of $500,000 to both building and business owners. Maximum grant awards are $100,000 per project.

Minimum Requirements

  • A great business idea
  • A great business plan to growth plan
  • A location secured. Business owners must have a signed lease or letter of intent with a building owner (or deed if building will be owner occupied)
  • Cost estimates and a strong understanding of financial need for your project contractor bids
  • Funds ready to invest in your project

All Motor City Match awards are distributed according to a competitive process. Business owner applications are scored up to 20 points on each of five criteria, for a total of 100 possible points. Criteria includes:

  • Vision and plan based on the soundness, completeness and creativity of the business concept.
  • Experience and capacity of the business owners and key members of the business team.
  • Market opportunity to meet economic demand and advance business district revitalization.
  • Community support for new business, including benefit to the community as outlined in competition guidelines.
  • Leverage of business owner investment and other community investment initiatives in the area.

Once we have collected and rated applications, the Motor City Match team will notify you if you are being considered as a finalist or winner for an award. Once selected, we will work on a one-on-one level to connect you with the location, support, and resources necessary for your business to thrive in Detroit.

Application Link



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