General Motors and the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce today announced 15 recipients of the Moving Flint Forward Small Business grants, totaling $150,000. The GM-funded initiative supports revitalization efforts across the city’s neighborhoods by strengthening local businesses.
The grantees were drawn from of a range of businesses – including auto body repair, childcare, retail, food and entertainment, and professional services – with at least one establishment located in each of Flint’s four quadrants.
“General Motors cares about the communities where we live and work and about building a stronger future for us all. We are excited to partner with small businesses throughout Flint to remove barriers to their success and to contribute to the economic growth of their neighborhoods,” said Terry Rhadigan, GM’s executive director of corporate giving.
Flint & Genesee Chamber CEO Tim Herman said the grant program provides a shot in the arm for Flint’s ongoing recovery.
“As I have stated before, Flint’s revitalization must extend beyond downtown and into our neighborhoods for there to be sustained community renewal,” said Herman. “The broad-based distribution of the grants is an important step toward accomplishing that goal and a solid indication of the breadth of Flint’s small business community.”
More than 100 businesses inquired or applied for the grants, which were awarded on a competitive basis by a review panel comprised of representatives from GM, the Flint & Genesee Chamber, the City of Flint, local grant-making organizations and community members. The funds may be used to help eligible businesses expand, make repairs and leasehold improvements, purchase inventory and equipment, and make façade improvements.
The program was open to anyone who owns and operates a small business within the city of Flint. The business must have no more than 20 employees and could not be a franchise operation.
“GM was born in Flint and continues to thrive here, so the community’s livelihood is extremely important to us. From the wages we pay our Flint-area employees to our spending with local suppliers, this grant program is another opportunity for us to invest in our community,” said Mike Perez, plant executive director for GM Flint Assembly.
In addition, the businesses receiving grants are required to partner with a local nonprofit organization serving the community to address an ongoing need, such as transportation concerns, blight, infrastructure, housing, youth and senior services, education, public safety, and health and well-being to create stronger connections for residents.
Grantees also are required to meet as a group several times during the grant period to network, provide updates on grant activities, share best practices/lessons learned, discuss service projects and possible connections and receive technical support.
- Honey Bee Palace Childcare Center
- Great Lakes Facility Management
- N’Dapanda Consignment Shop
- Totem Books
- Beck’s Barber and Beauty
- Tenacity Brewing
- Sherman’s Lounge
- Vern’s Collision
- GoodBoy Clothing
- Liberty Way Holdings
- Sisco’s Catering
- Glam Box Boutique
- In & Out Complete Services
- Holmes Building & Construction
“Flint today is a thriving community of entrepreneurs,” said Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley. “This support for our small businesses – and local nonprofits – will help us build our local economy and our community. Partnership is the pathway to progress. I congratulate all the grant recipients on their continued success.”
More information about the Moving Flint Forward Small Business Grant Program is available at FlintandGenesee.org/Moving-Flint-Forward.