Motor City Match is Detroit’s small business launcher. We help businesses get the resources they need at all stages of development – from idea to open.
Growing Detroit businesses from idea to open.
Motor City Match is designed to assist Detroit entrepreneurs at critical stages of their business development - from idea to open.
Motor City Match connects new and expanding businesses with services and space to grow, providing them with the funding and tools to fuel the city’s entrepreneurial revolution.
Of Businesses Owned By Detroiters
Are Minority-owned Businesses
Are Women-owned Business
How we do it:
Connecting entrepreneurs with vacant real estate properties.
Motor City Match was founded in 2015 to help start new, permanent businesses and expand existing businesses in Detroit’s commercial corridors by providing tailored assistance throughout the launch and growth process.
Winning entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their business in Detroit must locate within the City of Detroit for at least three (3) years, provide verification of new jobs created or existing jobs retained, and demonstrate a benefit to the community.
Serving Detroit’s Small Business Community
Building Owner Support
- Building owners with commercial space available for lease can apply to be listed on the Make-a-Match Map
- To be listed, a properties must be up to date on city and state taxes, current on water bills, and have no outstanding blight tickets
- Buildings listed on the Make-a-Match Map will be connected with the Motor City Match businesses looking for space – buildings that Match with a tenant will be eligible to apply for Motor City Match Design or Cash Awards
Two Types of Awards for Business Owners
Awards are funded with contributions from philanthropic partners and allocations from federal, state, and city sources. Awards are subject applicable compliance regulations and guidelines.
1. Technical Assistance Awards
The Plan, Develop, & Design Track Awards offer business services, architectural design services, one-on-one consulting, and group classes & seminars.
- Technical Assistance Awards do not include any direct cash assistance to awardees – instead, the program reimburses qualified technical assistance providers directly for services provided to awardees.
2. Financial Assistance Awards
The Cash Track Award offers gap-funding grants of up to $100,000
- Financial Assistance Awardees businesses must contribute a minimum of 10% of the total project costs in equity investment
- Financial Assistance Award Grants will not exceed 50% of total project costs
- Quarterly Applications
2. 90-day application period
3. 30-days open application
4. 60-day evaluation period
5. Finalists notified within 30 days of application close
Application Open and Close
Applicants Notified By
Connected by residency
Businesses applying to the Plan or Develop Track that do not have a location in Detroit must be residents of the city of Detroit to be eligible
Connected by location
Businesses applying to the Plan or Develop Track that are not owned by a Detroit resident must regularly operate from a location in Detroit – example, a vendor at Eastern Market
Businesses applying to the Design or Cash Track must have a location secured in the city of Detroit with a letter of intent, lease, deed, land contract, or other legal claim
Who should apply to the Plan Track? New businesses and informal businesses
Who should apply to the Develop Track? Transactional mobile, digital, or home-based businesses looking to find a permanent location in Detroit
Who should apply to the Design Track? New businesses with a location needing design and pre-construction services
Who should apply to the Cash track? New businesses that need additional funding to complete construction or existing businesses opening an additional location that need additional funding to complete construction
- Initial applications are scored based on 5 criteria – up to 20 points can be awarded for each criteria. Maximum application score is 100 points
- Vision and plan for the business based on the soundness, completeness and creativity of the 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 low to moderate income communities.
- Leverage of business owner investment and other community investment initiatives in the area.
- Top scores in the Design and Cash Tracks will be selected as finalists and be required to complete a supplemental application, site visit, and finalist workshop. The finalist application aims to determine the feasibility, readiness, and financial need of each project.
- Up to 15 Plan Track Awardees, 25 Develop Track Awardees, 10 Design Awardees, and 15 Cash Awardees will be selected each round. Awardees are selected on a quarterly basis.
- Applications are available in January, April, July, and October. The open application period is 30 days and the evaluation period is 60 days.