$200,000 headed to Flint to support neighborhood small businesses

FLINT, Michigan — Neighborhood businesses will get a $200,000 boost through a new grant program funded through General Motors and awarded in partnership with the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. 

Called the Moving Flint Forward Small Business Grant Program, small businesses could get up to $10,000 to make improvements. The grant program is an effort to expand revitalization efforts in the city — and also includes a unique element to help support local nonprofits, too. 

“GM was born in Flint and continues to thrive here, so the community’s livelihood is extremely important to us. From the wages we pay our Flint-area employees to our spending with local suppliers, this grant program is another opportunity for us to invest in our community,” said Mike Perez, plant executive director at GM Flint Assembly.

The program is open to anyone who owns and operates a small business in Flint (which includes non-franchise businesses of less than 20 employees). The competitive grants can be used to make repairs and leasehold improvements, purchase inventory and equipment, and make façade improvements. 

In a “pay it forward” aspect of the grant, small businesses that are awarded dollars also will be required to support a local nonprofit to increase their capacity to help residents. For instance, businesses could volunteer, coordinate a service project, or provide pro bono services. 

“Flint’s recovery and revitalization must extend beyond downtown and include our neighborhoods to see long-term, sustainable change,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “The grants will help accomplish this by empowering neighborhood small businesses to address their challenges but also support the needs of local nonprofits. That’s why we are excited to partner with GM on this unique grant program.”

The grants also include intensive follow up including several group meetings for grantees to help connect them with resources that will help support their success beyond the grant period. 

For more information, visit FlintandGenesee.org/Moving-Flint-Forward.

Read more articles by Ashley Schafer.

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