Thursday, August 1, 2013

Business Financing, Microfinancing, and Other Incentives for Business in Detroit

Yes, my hometown of Detroit did go bankrupt.  When you are taking the freeway offramp in a major city and a pheasant scurries across your path, as happened to me a couple of years ago, that's damn near a foregone conclusion.  People now hunt (with dogs) in the vacant lots near my childhood home.  But where everything is a shambles, nobody has much to lose.  So some organizations and people have decided to throw what they can in the pot--either to live in Detroit and start businesses, or to create money or other incentives for business creation. 

Where to find them?  Midtown Detroit Inc., devoted to midtown development, has a whole page of incentives for business, housing development, microfinancing, loans, historic preservation, and more.
It goes beyond the midtown area to the whole city, and even other areas in Wayne County.  The list is staggering.  Know any Jewish entrepreneur who wants to remain in southeast Michigan?  There's a loan and mentoring program for them. The Urban Retail Loan Fund encourages the development of retail businesses in downtown and Detroit neighborhoods, a type of business that is usually overlooked in incentive programs.  Brownfield funds, tax incentives, it's all there.

Another place to look is Bizdom, the organization that provides $25,000 in startup money for entrepreneurs in Cleveland and Detroit, along with mentoring and training.  What's the catch?  In exchange for the money, they get 8% of your business's equity, and use the profits to finance other businesses in those cities.  What kind of people do they finance?  Those over 18 years old who are in tech and web-based businesses.  Learn more here.

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