JACKSON, MI – Business owners on Jackson’s south side looking to make improvements can apply for grants in a new program through Jackson’s MLK Corridor Improvement Authority.
The MLK Corridor Improvement Authority’s Jackson Entrepreneurship and Real Estate Fund was launched on November 1 to provide financial assistance to city business owners. The grants are being offered to encourage business development along the MLK corridor, officials said.
“From expanding their businesses to building a brick and mortar, Jackson business owners can make this important funding a reality,” said MLK Corridor Improvement Authority Board Member George Brown.
These grants are available in three categories:
- Real Estate/Capital Grants: For building and site improvements. Examples are facade improvements, lighting, licensing, permit and inspection fees.
- Business/Operating Grants: For general operating expenses. Examples include renting office space, insurance, and inventory.
- Technical Assistance Grants: To procure marketing, legal, accounting and technology services. Examples include website design, accounting assistance, and technology upgrades.
To be eligible, applicants must own a small business that has been operating in the City of Jackson for at least one year. Preference will be given to applicants located in the MLK corridor, officials said.
The boundaries of the corridor are Martin Luther King Jr. It runs from E. Mason to E. South Streets, along Prospect Street, Cooper Street and Euclid Avenue.
Each business can apply for a maximum of $50,000 spread across each category, officials said. Officials said that the total amount of these grants will be 250 thousand dollars.
Applications can be found on the MLK Corridor Improvement Authority website. Completed applications should be sent to [email protected] with “Entrepreneurship Fund Application” in the subject line. They can also be delivered in person to Jackson City Hall, 161 W. Michigan Ave, 14th floor.
The deadline to submit is Monday, December 4.
The MLK Corridor Improvement Office partnered with the Jackson Community Foundation to provide oversight of the grant process, officials said.
“I am incredibly grateful that the Jackson Community Foundation is able to serve our community, especially the south end,” said Jackson Community Foundation President/CEO Monica Moser.
The Jackson City Council created the MLK Redevelopment Authority in October 2020 to guide redevelopment efforts in the area.
Related: Revitalizing MLK Drive: New corridor improvement authority approved in Jackson
Michigan created an economic development tool in 2018 to improve funding in commercial corridors outside the community’s core. The Corridor Improvement Authority uses tax increment financing — a method of freezing the tax value for several years, capturing and reinvesting the increased tax revenue — to make improvements in a designated area.
Funding for these grants follows the Jackson City Council’s August 2022 decision to allocate $4.5 million to the MLK Corridor Improvement Authority. Money from the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds will help officials rebuild commercial operations and help small businesses, officials said.
Related: $4.5 million to redevelop the south end of Jackson from the city
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