In Detroit, Ford’s Michigan Central is developing a small business fund

In Detroit, Ford's Michigan Central is developing a small business fund

Ford opened a boot camp at its Michigan Central Station in Corktown that offers training, grants, and small business loans.

What’s at stake: Small businesses currently suffering from the pandemic require more than just financial assistance. Executive director Chanell Scott Contreras tells Axios that it needs to be combined with one-on-one mentoring, such as the one-on-one coaching offered by nonprofit organisation ProsperUs.

What’s going on: According to a press release originally obtained by Axios, applications for the $500,000 Advancing Community Businesses initiative are now open and will close on June 30.

Also, even more people are turning to entrepreneurship during the pandemic.
ProsperUs and another nonprofit business education organization, Build Institute, will administer the new program. It joins a landscape of support available to Detroit businesses but can be difficult to navigate.
How it works: About 25 entrepreneurs near the station will take classes and mentorship on e-commerce, digital marketing, financial planning, growth opportunities and more.

Context: Dearborn-based Ford is investing around $950 million to build an electric and autonomous vehicle campus in Corktown.

At the end of the training, companies can receive $5,000 to $20,000 each, the press release said.
What you say: “One of the reasons we chose (these nonprofits) is because they’re really leaders in supporting black and brown, locally based businesses, so we know they have a methodology that does this well.” makes,” Clarinda Barnett-Harrison, Community Impact Lead for Ford’s Michigan Central operations, says Axios.

This business school is part of a $10 million investment that Ford has pledged to the community that will irrevocably change its large-scale development.
The automaker is funding small business support, affordable housing development, skilled trades and more in a deal with the city under the Community Benefits Ordinance.
Reality check: While Ford has met or is on the way to meeting many of its welfare obligations, it remains to be seen how much of an impact the Michigan Central campus will have on home prices. Concerns have been raised that long-term residents will be priced out.


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