Are Small Businesses America's Most Overlooked—and Valuable—Charity Case?
In late 2016, the New Economy Initiative, which is the largest philanthropic funder of regional economic development in the country, announced that it would be distributing half a million dollars to 32 small businesses around Southeastern Michigan. Two winners received $100,000, while 30 others got $10,000 each. The awards came out of the group’s third annual NEIdeas competition for small companies to pitch their own ways to grow stronger and more stable.
In total, NEIdeas has distributed $1.5 million in grants to about 100 businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck, Mich., and Highland Park, Mich., and this was supposed to be the last year of competition. But the group, a special project for the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, decided it wasn’t quite done yet.