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Mayor Mike Duggan and DEGC Announce Motor City Re-Store, a Program to Boost Established Neighborhood Businesses

 Program will assist “been-ups” with $2M in grants annually for exterior upgrades and façade improvements

Two retail storefronts available for lease in a strip mall

Source: Melinda Podor / Getty

DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) announced Motor City Re-Store, a new multi-million-dollar initiative to stabilize and improve the appearance of Detroit’s commercial corridors. The program will provide up to $500,000 every three months in matching grants to existing business owners and their landlords for façade and other exterior improvements.

Motor City Re-Store is a companion program to Motor City Match, which awards $500,000 every quarter to startups and businesses expanding to new locations. The new program is specifically aimed at existing neighborhood businesses.

Applications for the program began June 15 at www.motorcityre-store.com and the first awards will be announced this fall.

“The small neighborhood businesses that have hung in there over the years and have sustained our city are part of Detroit’s revitalization. That’s why we created Motor City Re-Store,” said Mayor Duggan. The Mayor added that, “this is how we are going to bring our city back, by supporting our existing businesses and residents as we welcome new ones to our neighborhoods.”

Motor City Re-Store gives business owners and commercial landlords a chance to improve the appearance of their building to make the business more attractive to new customers through façade improvements, landscaping and parking lot upgrades.

The announcement of the new program was made in the Old Redford neighborhood of Detroit, where long-time businesses such as Paul the Barber and the Old Redford Theatre operate next to newer stores such as Sweet Potato Sensations and Motor City Java and Tea House.

“We know how important it is for businesses to have attractive façades facing the street because they help to build a business’s brand.” said Michael S. R. Rafferty, DEGC vice president of small business services. “Motor City Re-Store is designed to improve that exterior look for qualified businesses. We feel the result should create more inviting and stable commercial districts throughout the city.”

Glen Long, interim president and CEO of DEGC said, “DEGC has long been a collaborator with the Mayor’s office and other private and nonprofit organizations who have been building a strong network of support for every kind of small business in every phase of their growth. We recognize how successful small businesses are significant job creators and strong contributors to the quality of life in neighborhoods.”

How Re-Store works

Motor City Re-Store’s aim is to make neighborhood business districts in Detroit more walkable, attractive and viable. The program is expected to provide tenants of existing storefronts and their landlords with matching funds to improve the exteriors of commercial buildings, including landscaping and parking lots. Matching grants are also available for design and architectural services pertaining to the exterior improvement projects.

Motor City Re-Store is supported by a combination of Community Development Block Grant funds and other sources. The Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit (EDC) has stewardship of the public funds and has approved funding to develop the program. It voted on final program operational plans June 13.

Motor City Re-Store will be managed by the small business team at the DEGC. It will be open to entrepreneurs who are currently open and operating a commercial storefront in the city of Detroit, and their landlords.

Application process opened June 15

Motor City Re-Store will take applications for Round 1 from June 15 through August 1. Business owners and landlords must apply jointly for 50% matching grants up to $25,000. Multiple businesses applying as a group are eligible for 75% matching grants. Up to 20 matching grants are expected to be awarded each quarter, with a new round of applications opening on the first day of September, December, March, and June.

Business owners interested in applying are invited to this Info Session:

June 29, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Matrix/Osborn Neighborhood Alliance, 13560 E. McNichols St., Detroit

Detailed information about the program can be found at www.motorcityre-store.com. To register for either Info Session go to:  www.motorcityre-store.com/news-events.

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