Everyone knows about Flower Day, or going to Eastern Market on Saturdays to pick up some fresh, local food. But there’s a lot more to the market than just farmers and stalls.

One of their many programs is the Eastern Market Growing Communities initiative. Over the last five years the project, in partnership with crowd-funder IOBY.org, has invested more than half a million dollars into small businesses. Those small businesses invest in the city and hire people.

In the podcast above, we talked to Brandon Seng from Michigan Farm to Freezer, a recent winner of a grant who moved their business to the city, as well as Dan Carmody, head of Eastern Market, talks about the program and its impact.

Here’s what you need to know.

The application process starts today – March 20.

If you’re interested in a micro-grant, your business needs to be based in Detroit, Highland Park or Hamtramck but also meet one of a few different criteria. Below are all the nitty-gritty details, direct from Eastern Market:

EMGC Eligibility (companies meeting one of the following criteria):

  • Businesses that sell in the Sheds at Eastern Market. Business must be current in rent and other obligations and have completed one complete season at Eastern Market.
  • Eastern Market District Businesses (bricks and mortar retail, wholesale or production facilities).
  • Business must own or lease a facility in the district bound by Canfield Street, Service Street, I-75 and Chene Street.
  • Detroit Community Markets businesses (www.detroitmarkets.org) which have completed one complete season at a neighborhood market.
  • Detroit Kitchen Connect Participants
  • Business must be current in rent and other obligations.
  • Urban Growers which operate on land owned outright or secured by a permit or lease in Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park.

EMGC is again teaming up with IOBY.org in order to give grantees a greater opportunity to get an increased amount of funding to support their business organizations through a crowd funding page on the IOBY.org platform.

For each dollar raised, Eastern Market Growing Communities will match it up to a maximum of $3000 per grantee.

New for 2018, EMGC is teaming up with the following organizations to provide additional services to awarded grantees: Momentum Bookkeeping – Pro bono Quickbooks/chart of accounts setup and training for up to 5 awardees. Miller Canfield PLC Pro bono legal assistance for 5 awardees.

Types of Funding Requests Available:

  • Equipment
  • Land
  • District Business Signage, Canopies or Lighting

EMGC 2018 Micro-grant Timeline:

Online application submission begins: March 20, 2018

Online application submission ends: Friday, April 6, 2018

Application review period: April 9th – April 13, 2018

Crowd funding training: April 16 – April 27, 2018

Soft Launch of fundraising campaign: April 28 – May 13, 2018

Official start of 2018 EMGC fundraising campaign: May 14 – June 22, 2018

Final Crowd Funding amounts with Matching Awards Announced: June 30, 2018

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