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ICYMI: Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance | Celebrating Five Years: Moving Flint Forward Grants $205,000 to 24 Small Businesses

Michigan Business Network
May 23, 2024 7:00 AM


(FLINT, Mich. – May 2024) – The Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance and General Motors (GM) celebrated National Small Business Day by awarding 24 small businesses in Flint a total of $205,000 through the Moving Flint Forward Small Business Grant Program. This fifth round of grants brings the automaker’s total financial support of the initiative –which supports revitalization efforts across the city’s neighborhoods by strengthening local businesses – to nearly $1.2 million.

“As we celebrate Moving Flint Forward’s five-year anniversary, we are excited to add a new cohort to the grant program’s legacy,” said Tyler Rossmaessler, executive director of the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance, a division of the Flint & Genesee Group. “We are grateful to General Motors for its continued investment in the initiative and to the entrepreneurs who choose to start and grow their businesses right here in Flint. Together, we are building a stronger community and economy.”

This year’s grantees will use Moving Flint Forward funding to advance their operations through a variety of efforts and upgrades. Recipients will use this round’s funding, for example, to purchase new equipment and inventory; support marketing efforts; make facade and building improvements; and cover ServSafe certifications and other training.

Among the grantees is Dr. Aisha Harris, who opened Harris Family Health at 432 N. Saginaw St., Suite 401A, in early 2023. She plans to use her funding for costs related to medical supplies for her direct primary care clinic, in addition to marketing, health education outreach, and professional development.

“When I first learned I received the grant, it really reinforced for me that what I’m doing here is working,” Harris said. “Now, I can pursue opportunities that I wasn’t quite ready to financially. It will allow me to grow and expand without impacting my day-to-day finances. That’s a huge relief for a business owner who is still in their early stages like me.”

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.

Of the 24 grants awarded, the program awarded 17 grants of $10,000 to businesses that are new to the program. They include:

  • 810 Comedy Improv, an entertainment business specializing in improvisation comedy.
  • Amazing Tents and Chairs, an event/party rental company.
  • Citizens Statewide Security INC, a security alarm company.
  • Gordo and Flaco’s Tacos
  • Green Pride Landscape Maintenance, a lawncare and landscaping business.
  • Harris Family Health, a family-based medical provider.
  • I Love Pig, INC, a food vendor serving arepas and Cuban sandwiches inside the Flint Farmers’ Market.
  • KB Party Rental, a party/event rental service.
  • OKAJ Lawncare & Snow Removal, a lawncare and snow removal company.
  • On The Move Driving School.
  • Priz Apparel, a retail clothing company.
  • S & C Creative Hands, a party/event planning and rental service.
  • Safe Connect Non-Emergency Transportation Services, a transportation company that serves those needing rides to and from medical appointments.
  • Sol Collaborative LLC (dba Bau-House), an innovative art and streetwear gallery in downtown Flint.
  • Sugg’s Sweet Treats, a bakery/food truck.
  • Suso’s Pizza LLC.
  • Synergy Beauty Studio.

Additionally, seven Moving Flint Forward alumni received $5,000 each to take the next step in their business’ growth. They include:

  • Bella LLC, a food truck and catering business.
  • Jessica Hatter Photography
  • Liberty Way Holdings LLC, a barbershop that also offers mentorship programs and apprenticeships to youth.
  • One: Eleven LLC, which specializes in handcrafted leather goods such as wallets and handbags.
  • Smoke Rattle and Roll, a BBQ restaurant inside the University of Michigan-Flint University Pavilion and food truck.
  • The Historic Bryant’s Barbershop
  • Urban Colab Architecture, an architectural and design firm.

The fifth cohort brings the total number of businesses impacted through Moving Flint Forward since 2019 to 79 small businesses.

A total of 180 businesses applied for this latest round. 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 is 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.

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 Flint and Genesee County. To build 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. The division also promotes available sites, workforce, and unique assets to attract growth-oriented businesses to Genesee County. For more information, visit FlintandGenesee.org, and check us out on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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  • Moving Flint Forward fifth cohort with event speakers

Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.