News & Events

Round Five Businesses Bring New Services, Arts to Detroit’s Neighborhoods

October 28, 2016

DETROIT – Mayor Mike Duggan today announced the six Detroit small businesses that will receive between $10,000 and $80,000 of Motor City Match grant funding to help them start or expand in Detroit’s neighborhood corridors.

Motor City Match is Detroit’s signature small business development initiative. The program connects new and expanding businesses with Detroit real estate opportunities and provides them with the funding and technical support needed to help them succeed. Each quarter, up to $500,000 of grant dollars are available in addition to business planning classes and other technical assistance.

“Quality restaurants, health and wellness providers, arts centers are exactly the types of establishments that people expect when they think of a strong community,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “These Detroiters are proving that our neighborhoods are great places to start a business.”

Motor City Match has helped nearly 500 businesses since its launch last year, with two-thirds of the businesses owned by Detroiters and more than 70 percent minority-owned. The program has awarded a total of $2.3 million in grants over the course of five award rounds. When combined with each entrepreneurs’ personal investment and traditional financing, the grants have helped leverage a total of $14 million in investment to help grow Detroit neighborhood businesses. All grant awards are contingent upon securing the necessary funding for the project and completion of all due diligence requirements necessary for building and business compliance.

“Between the business planning classes, design support and other technical assistance, we have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs get to the next stage of growing their dream in Detroit,” said Detroit Economic Growth Corporation CEO Rodrick Miller. “These individuals are transforming shuttered buildings into vibrant new places to shop, eat and work in Detroit’s neighborhoods – exactly as we intended over a year ago when we started this program.”

Other Motor City Match Round 5 Awardees

In addition to providing grant funding, Motor City Match also announced the following award levels:

  • Business Plan Awardees: 50
  • Space Awardees: 25
  • Design Awardees: 7

The next application window for building and business owners to apply to Motor City Match will be open from December 1 to January 1. Application details are available at

About the Grant Awardees:

  1. The N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art. $80,000 Grant Winner.

The N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art presents diverse, multi-disciplinary art experiences and serves to promote and perpetuate the cultural legacy of African-American and African diasporic art. The owner is seeking to open a second location at 4230 Grand River Ave. that will include an art incubator, co-working space, gallery and educational platform that connects creatives to unconventional business opportunities and cultivates the establishment of new small businesses. There are currently 3 retail spaces lined up to fill the new center including a gallery by a Chicago curator, a photography studio and production company.

  1. The Wise Decision. $65,000 Grant Winner.

The Wise Decision is a full-service health and fitness business that offers customized fitness training, nutrition and weight management counseling including healthy cooking classes, and corrective exercise clinics designed to reduce common injuries. Sterling Wise, a certified personal trainer and fitness professional for nine years, and spouse Kamelia Wise, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, have owned The Wise Decision for seven years. They are seeking to open a new location at 7640 Kercheval Ave. to improve the quality of life for Detroiters.

  1. Plum Health Direct Primary Care. $50,000 Grant Winner.

Plum Health Direct Primary Care is a new business that will provide an alternative to the traditional fee-for-service model. Direct Primary Care emphasizes wellness, prevention, communication and personalized patient relationships to create the best health outcomes possible. For a monthly fee, members receive primary health care services that are tailored to their individual needs – including annual check-ups, urgent care services as well as direct and unrestricted access to their doctor through call, text, email or in-person visits. The business will locate at 607 Shelby St.

  1. The Kenilworth Club. $50,000 Grant Winner.

The Kenilworth Club is a neighborhood restaurant and bar that includes a food incubator and restaurant accelerator, seeking to open at 9425 John R St. The restaurant, serving New Orleans inspired cuisine with a West African twist, includes a true farm-to-table model using ingredients cultivated from a 1.5 acre community urban agriculture garden located directly behind the space. The commercial kitchen space will also be used to host private events, community gatherings and pop-up chefs that will comprise 20% of the restaurant’s menu.

The concept offers an evolving culinary enterprise that lives, breathes, and changes according to what’s in season, dishes dreamed by up-and-coming chefs and feedback on what neighbors crave.

  1. Social Sushi. $45,000 Grant Winner.

Social Sushi is a social collision lounge with Japanese cuisine. In addition to fresh, quality food, the restaurant creates a space for strangers to feel open to connect with other people. By hiring young people, returning citizens, and local creatives, the business wants their combined passion to be an element of the space. They also plan to support local business from ingredients to design and create physical access to a one of a kind gathering space. The business will locate at 16647 Livernois Ave., next to Live6, in a previous Motor City Match winner’s space and across the street from University of Detroit Mercy.

  1. The Detroit Marshmallow Company. $10,000 Grant Winner.

The Detroit Marshmallow Company produces gluten-free marshmallows currently sold at Eastern Market and other local food markets. They are seeking to open a production facility at 17215 Mack Ave. that aims to be the only dedicated gluten-free kitchen in the city. The kitchen will also be shared with other local small batch producers.

Additional Materials

Motor City Match Round 5 Fact Sheet:

Round 5 Grant Winner Photos: