TechTown doubles small business impact with latest funding deployment

Date: May 5, 2020




TechTown doubles small business impact with latest funding deployment 

DETROIT, Mich. — The TechTown Stabilization Fund (TTSF) closed with 347 grantees receiving a total of  $575,000 in funding – adding to the 350 small businesses previously funded by TechTown’s Detroit Small Business Stabilization Fund. Together, the two funds funneled approximately $1.2 million into local small businesses in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The New Economy Initiative (NEI) donated $500,000 to enable TechTown to support local businesses with a second fund after the success of the first fund, and Bank of America added $150,000 to the fund and TechTown’s ongoing effort.

Designed to support small businesses often left out of critical funding opportunities, the TTSF also targeted makers, service-based businesses, home-based businesses, freelancers and creative industries based in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park.

An external advisory committee comprised of partner organizations from around the city reviewed applications and selected awardees. The committee included representatives from:

  • Invest Detroit
  • Independent Business Association
  • Osborn Business Association
  • Detroit Economic Growth Corporation
  • Accounting Aid Society
  • East Jefferson Development Corporation
  • BUILD Institute
  • Michigan Women Forward
  • Design Core Detroit
  • ProsperUs

Awardees represent a mix of 140 home-based businesses and 207 businesses with dedicated physical locations. More than half of awarded businesses are female-owned and nearly 80 percent are minority-led. In total, the businesses awarded account for 1,190 jobs — 972 of which are held by residents of Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park. In total, TechTown’s two stabilization funds have supported nearly 2,500 jobs held by Detroit-Hamtramck-Highland Park residents.

“From the onset of this crisis, we have focused on meeting the immediate needs of our local entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said TechTown CEO Ned Staebler. “If we can help these businesses stabilize for even a few weeks, that gives them space to map out their next move.”

TechTown’s tradition of serving both tech entrepreneurs and neighborhood small businesses remains its primary focus as fund deployment shifts to technical assistance in the form of formal instruction on key topics, expert consulting, peer-to-peer learning, and other support channels made possible in part through TechTown’s partnership with NEI.