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Posted on: February 1, 2024

MLK Corridor Improvement Authority announces new round of entrepreneurial fund grants

MLK Drive sign

The MLK Corridor Improvement Authority recently announced the launch of a second wave of funding for the Entrepreneurial and Real Estate Fund, a grant initiative designed to revitalize Southside Jackson and stimulate business development throughout the Corridor. The second funding round runs from February 1 through March 8, and will again award a maximum of $50,000 per business. Up to $500,000 total is planned for distribution. Entrepreneurial and Real Estate Fund grants can be used to upgrade buildings or spaces, cover operational costs, and acquire marketing, legal, accounting, and technology services. The first funding round awarded $50,000 grants to five area businesses for a total of $250,000 invested.  
 

“With this vital support, Jackson's business owners can propel their business ambitions forward and uplift our community at the same time. An investment in the MLK Corridor is an investment in our Southside neighborhoods,” remarked Diane Washington, a member of the MLK Corridor Improvement Authority.                       

To qualify for these grants, applicants must own a small business within the MLK Corridor of Jackson and have been in operation for a minimum of one year. Businesses must also be compliant with the State of Michigan regulations and identify a clear strategy for utilizing the grant money to meet an established business need. Detailed information on application procedures and eligibility criteria can be found on the MLKCIA website. Business owners who applied for previous rounds of funding must submit a new application to be considered for this round of grants.                       

The grant application for this round is entirely online. When an applicant submits their application they will receive an immediate notice that their application has been received. There are options for submitting business plans and docs on the application for those that have physical documents. Applicants can reach out to John Willis, Chief Equity Officer, at jwillis@cityofjackson.org with questions, for more information, or a referral for assistance with the digital forms. The digital application includes contact information for the Michigan Small Business Development Center for business owners who may need assistance with a business plan or support with other documents.                                                                       

“With this grant program, we effectively channel MLKCIA Entrepreneurial and Real Estate Fund resources directly to the entrepreneurs who need it most,” noted George Brown, a member of the MLK Corridor Improvement Authority.                       

For more information and to apply visit the MLKCIA website                  

City of Jackson leadership formed the MLK Corridor Improvement Authority in 2020 to lead redevelopment efforts within Jackson’s Southside neighborhoods. In October 2023, the MLK CIA selected new members for the Entrepreneurial Fund subcommittee to make key decisions about processes and grantees. Membership for this vital subcommittee includes Mindy Bradish-Orta, Thaddeus Williams, Victoria Moore, Robert Wilkie, Fred Parker, Jr., Tonja Worthey, Jennifer Moon, Dennis Treadway, and Cathy Moore. 

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