(FLINT, Mich. – May 15, 2023) – Today, General Motors and the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance announced that 23 small businesses in Flint were awarded a total of $200,000 from the Moving Flint Forward Small Business Grant Program. This is the fourth round of grants from the GM-funded initiative, which supports revitalization efforts across the city’s neighborhoods by strengthening local businesses.
“Flint’s continued revitalization and strong entrepreneurial spirit are evident in the 23 small businesses selected today,” said Terry Rhadigan, Vice President of Corporate Giving at GM. “General Motors is proud to support the growth of these businesses and the community through the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance.”
This year’s grantees will use Moving Flint Forward funding to advance their operations through a variety of efforts and upgrades. Plans, for example, include repairing a business’ roof and parking lot; purchasing a point-of-sale system; participating in ServSafe training programs; and buying materials to craft handmade wallets and handbags.
In addition to grant funding, each recipient will receive technical assistance and participate in cohort meetings that include workshops on various topics related to running a business.
“By providing access to capital, opportunities for networking, and resources to build business know-how, Moving Flint Forward gives area entrepreneurs the tools they need to take their businesses to the next level,” said Tyler Rossmaessler, executive director of the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance. “In supporting the growth of these small businesses, we strengthen our neighborhoods, our economy, and the greater community. We are thankful to General Motors for their financial support of this program and for their continued investment in Flint & Genesee.”
The program awarded 17 grants of $10,000 to businesses that are new to the program. They include:
- 1:Eleven Leather Goods, an online, handcrafted leather store, specializing in wallets and handbags designed in Flint.
- Aunt Rena’s Baking Company, a bakery that specializes in pies and cobblers made from scratch.
- Big Babe’s BBQ & Fish, a family-owned takeout BBQ and fish restaurant started in 2019.
- Caught My Eye Barber and Beauty Supply Store, a barbershop/salon and beauty supply store.
- Drinks of Essence Bartending School, a bartending school that offers ServSafe alcohol certifications, bartender certifications, and mixology classes.
- Horizon Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, a physical therapy business owned by Flint-native Dr. Jerome Adams.
- Infinite Lifeforce and Therapeutic Solutions, a holistic health and wellness facility that provides counseling, IV therapy, aromatherapy, and other therapeutic services.
- Lil Milly & Company, a business that provides high-quality consulting to parents and digital-first consumer goods for children and babies.
- Lori’s Clean Cuisine, a healthy lifestyle food vendor at the Flint Farmers’ Market that offers “cleaner, greener, and healthier” ready-to-eat and frozen meals and organic/gluten free groceries.
- Mamie’s Protein Smoothie Queen, a food truck and online store that serves healthy smoothies and other fresh foods.
- Midway Market, a neighborhood grocery store and supermarket that has been locally owned and operated for 40+ years.
- Millionaire Cuts and Styles, a barbershop located in North Flint that has served men, women, and children for over 15 years.
- Natural Effecxs, a certified organic skincare and haircare business located in the Flint Farmers’ Market, owned by a licensed cosmetologist and pharmacy technician.
- Perspective Media, a full-service creative and digital marketing agency that provides multimedia services for small businesses, brands, and individuals.
- SMH Treats, a home-based bakery that specializes in cupcakes, luxury cakes, gourmet cheesecakes, and other treats.
- Trumbull Avenue Apartments, a family-owned apartment complex with two buildings and 7 rental units.
- Urban Colab Architecture, an architectural and design firm that focuses on residential housing, historic preservation, and commercial building designs.
Additionally, six Moving Flint Forward alumni received $5,000 each to take the next step in their business’ growth. They include:
- CompuNinjas, a computer and mobile device repair firm that also offers managed IT services, business consultation, and onsite IT support.
- Curtis Accounting & Tax Services, a firm that provides tax preparation, financial consulting, credit repair, business setup assistance, and bookkeeping series.
- Lewi’s Landscaping, a lawncare and landscaping company.
- New Beginnings Accounting & Financial Services, an accounting and financial services firm.
- Sunny Patch Learning Center, a licensed childcare center.
- Wayne the Barber, a barbershop that offers mentorship programs and apprenticeships to youth.
A total of 116 businesses applied for this latest round, which was announced in March 2023. Of those, 28 applications were ruled ineligible for various reasons, such as not being located in Flint or being in business for under two years. The remaining 88 applications were evaluated by a review panel comprised of representatives from GM, the City of Flint, local grant-making organizations, and community members.
The program was open to anyone who owns and operates a small business within the city of Flint. The business could have up to 20 employees and could not be a franchise operation. Of the grantees, 22 are minority-owned enterprises.
Today’s announcement follows a $270,000 grant presentation made by GM to eight local nonprofits at last week’s Flint & Genesee Chamber Luncheon as part of the company’s Community Impact Grants program. The programs together represent a commitment from both the Flint & Genesee Group and GM to collaborate and activate solutions to best support and strengthen the community.
More information about the Moving Flint Forward Small Business Grant Program is available at DevelopFlintandGenesee.org/Moving-Flint-Forward.
About General Motors
General Motors (NYSE:GM) is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which will power everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun, and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, can be found at https://www.gm.com.
About the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance
The Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance, a division of the Flint & Genesee Group, is the lead economic development organization for Genesee County, and is dedicated to building a more vibrant local economy. The Economic Alliance provides tools, resources, and guidance to local companies of all sizes and stages to support their growth. It also promotes available sites, workforce ,and unique assets to growth-oriented businesses outside of the county for opportunities to expand their operations in Genesee County. For more information, visit DevelopFlintandGenesee.org. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.