After you’ve been writing about Detroit for awhile, there are certain stories that come and go. Returning events, political stories that the actors change but the game stays the same – it’s all a big cycle. Some things that make a difference get forgotten – since they’re always there, they blend into the background noise of the internet.

Hatch Detroit is one of the things that makes an impact in more ways than just their contest (which we’ll get to in a minute), but deserves more attention.

After all, if you’ve had a beer at Batch Brewery, a slice at Sister Pie, a plate at Detroit Vegan Soul, tapas at La Feria – among many other places – you, in part, have Hatch Detroit to thank.

And those new sidewalks and lamps in West Village? Yeah, them. New signage and street improvements on the Livernois Avenue of Fashion? Uh huh. Hatch was part of that, too.

Since 2001, there are also 14 Hatch contest alumni, winners and runners up, that are open – real businesses, not internet theory – in Detroit, Highland Park, and Hamtramck – and 16 that are in pop-up mode. So in a local scene where the billionaires seem to get all the headlines, especially this week, Hatch is one of those helping the little guy or gal get their start.

Here are the details for this year. Yeah, the contest is back. If you want to get $50,000 to help get your brick and mortar business started in Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park, you should apply. They’re focused on independent brick & mortar retail. This means no food trucks and no franchise stores. They accept social entrepreneurs, non-profits and L3C’s, so long as there is a focused and strong retail component.

The door is open on what kind of retail. This could be anything – a record shop, a bodega, a yoga studio, a bar, a gym, a restaurant.. whatever.

You also get $25,000 in branding and logo design from the global advertising agency Team Detroit (they do the stuff for the big boys – Ford, Carhartt, Shell, etc) and a package of accounting, legal, IT, public relations, and counsel.

Your pitch – submitted to Hatch Detroit – will be accepted from May 2 – July 15, 2016.

But, as they say, and we teased in the headline, there’s more.

Comerica Bank, who is throwing not only the cash for the prize in, but thanks to their support a new thing as part of an expanded $125,000 commitment is possible.

Everyone talks about we need more attention and development in the neighborhoods. And we do.

With that in mind, there will business planning sessions hosted by Hatch Detroit in their targeted neighborhood revitalization areas of Hamtramck, Jefferson East, Grandmont Rosedale and the Avenue of Fashion.

Four workshops are scheduled during the contest application period:

  • June 2 – Hamtramck
  • June 16 – Jefferson East
  • June 29 – Avenue of Fashion
  • July 7 – Grandmont Rosedale

According to Hatch, the free workshops will provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to work with established business owners to strengthen their business ideas, solidify their business plans and develop a contest application that will make a strong impression on the Detroit community.

Comerica has also contributed $25,000 to the Michigan Women’s Foundation to establish a micro-enterprise loan fund offered exclusively to Hatch Alumni to help them meet short-term funding challenges, and help keep those businesses going.

Do It In Detroit

It’ll be exciting following this for another year – what awesome ideas that our own community has that end up becoming reality. Proof that the old city slogan some might remember is true – yes, you can “Do It In Detroit.”

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