Detroit Means Business gets $9M ARPA boost to provide financial support to city’s small businesses


Detroit Means Business gets $9M ARPA boost to provide financial support to city’s small businesses

  • Small businesses in Detroit to have access to millions in grants and loans, debt relief down payment assistance and technical assistance
  • First time DMB will be able to provide direct financial support to small businesses
  • New ARPA-funded programs will roll out by the end of 2022 and existing supportive services can be found today at

***Interview availabilities today with Kevin Johnson and business owners***

DETROIT – Thanks to a $9 million allocation approved by City Council last week, small businesses in Detroit who have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic soon will have the opportunity for direct financial support through Detroit Means Business (DMB), a small business service initiative housed within the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). The funds are coming from the city’s share of American Rescue Plan Act funds.

“The Detroit Means Business coalition is thrilled to see this investment in our small business community, particularly since our community was hit so hard by COVID-19,” said DEGC President and CEO, Kevin Johnson. “We all know that Detroit’s small businesses are the backbone of our local economy, and the heart and soul of our neighborhoods. I know that this will have a lasting and important impact on our small business community.”

  • $2M in Loan and Grant Awards to increase small business capacity
  • $3M in Small Business Debt Pay-Down Assistance, specifically for small businesses with high-cost debt
  • $2M in Direct Small Business Support for digital supportive services, mentoring and coaching, growth and strategy programming, technical assistance, workshops, and seminars

The remaining funding will be allocated toward additional program staffing and administration services over the three-year project period, Johnson said.

“The DEGC and Detroit Means Business have done a great job of supporting Detroit entrepreneurs and as more small businesses look to open in the city, we need to expand our ability to help them succeed,” said Mayor Mike Duggan.  “I’m grateful that City Council has approved another $9 million in ARPA funds for Detroit Means Business to help us help more Detroit small businesses in our neighborhoods.”

Originally created early in 2020 to provide technical support and connections to financial resources to small businesses struggling to survive the COVID pandemic, these new programs represent the first time Detroit Means Business will be able to provide direct financial support to Detroit’s small business.  

Nefertiti Harris, owner of Textures by Nefertiti, received non-financial support from the DMB to navigate the COVID pandemic and recently opened her new location on Woodward Avenue near Grand Boulevard. She is a member of the Detroit Means Business (DMB) Small Business Owner Advocates (SBOA), which is a group of Detroit small business owners who volunteer their time as an advisory group that directly informs the strategy and programming direction of DMB. She also was aided by a grant from the Motor City Match program, which is administered by the DEGC. Harris said she was overjoyed when she learned that DMB now has millions of dollars at its disposal to help other small businesses recover and flourish in Detroit.

“Activated during the height of the pandemic, business owners of DMB pledged to problem solve, source opportunities, advocate, and dedicate their volunteer time, fighting for easier access to capital. These newly allocated funds will allow DMB to reach so many other businesses, offering them an array of information and opportunities that will help support their growth and sustainability," said Harris.