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Motor City Match Program Director Andrew Lucco joined WJR’s Ann Thomas on “Opportunity Detroit” to discuss the impact and reach the program is having for entrepreneurs in the city.

“We aim to meet Detroit entrepreneurs at all stages of development…The program started with 4 tracks for new businesses, and we have also expanded to include what we call the Restore track, which used to be a separate program that we’ve integrated with grants for existing businesses that have been open in a brick-and-mortar for a year or more,” Lucco said. “Our goal is to help Detroit entrepreneurs wherever they are at, to meet them where they have a need and hopefully connect them to resources and when possible, offer grants to fill a funding gap they may have.”

Joining Lucco on “Opportunity Detroit” was Raphael Wright, owner of Neighborhood Grocery and a Round 21 grant recipient. According to Wright, the funding addresses the crucial needs of his business and illustrates the city’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurs.

In Round 21 a total of $1 million in grants were awarded to new businesses and about $300 thousand in grants to existing businesses. Round 22 awardees will be notified on March 31 and applications for Round 23 are open through 11:59 p.m. on Sun., April 2

Beginning in 2016, Motor City Match has awarded $11.4 million in total cash grants and seen 144 businesses open. Of those businesses, 84 percent are minority-owned, 74 percent are women-owned and 69 percent are businesses owned by Detroit residents.

“We have everything from cafes to adult daycare centers – a wide variety of businesses and attempting to meet the wide variety of needs that Detroit neighborhoods have,” Lucco said.

Listen to the entire conversation here.