News and Updates

Entrepreneurial sector in metro-Detroit will continue to fuel Michigan’s economy with announcement of ‘Growing Communities’ grant winners

Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Citizens Bank award micro-grants to 70 small businesses.

DETROIT – Today the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Citizens Bank announced the latest round of micro-grants to Eastern Market Corporation and 70 local small businesses in Southeast Michigan. The grants, totaling $175,500, will be used for new equipment or other items intended to help the businesses expand or become more efficient.

“The investment by Citizens Bank and MEDC in Eastern Market and the City of Detroit demonstrate a great commitment to growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in our city,” said Randall Fogelman, Vice President of Business Development for EMC. “These grants, for equipment or supplies or land, allow small businesses and urban growers to expand their operations in a very tangible and immediate way.”

While the full listing of micro-grant recipients is detailed and available to download here, the funds will be used for a variety of small business needs such as:

  • Point of Sale systems
  • Tractor with tiller attachment
  • Pressure sterilizer and steam generator (mushroom grower)
  • Walk-in freezers or coolers
  • Label printers
Part of the bank’s Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities initiative, the “Growing Communities” program contributes to the economic vitality of its surrounding areas.
“Starting and running a small business is hard work. Citizens Bank understands that because we work with small business owners here in Southeast Michigan every day,” said Rick Hampson, President of Citizens Bank, Michigan. ”We are proud to continue the Citizens Bank Growing Communities partnership with Eastern Market Corporation to help these businesses grow and prosper.”
Funding from MEDC is part of its economic gardening strategy to connect businesses, state and local government, and community partners to create a nurturing environment for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
“With these grants, we’re rewarding hard work and good ideas and we’re investing in tomorrow,” said MEDC Senior Vice President Mark Morante. “Today’s grants will help food entrepreneurs launch their business ideas as well as grow and create jobs. We’re proud to partner with Citizens Bank and Eastern Market in fostering entrepreneurship and small business growth in metro Detroit.”
Representatives from two of the small businesses spoke on behalf of the micro-grant winners at today’s announcement. Dawn DeMuyt runs Labrosse Farm in Detroit, an heirloom tomato farm, and Cynthia Davis operates Sha La Cynts’s LLC which offers catering services and a personal chef experience.

A full list of micro-grant recipients can be downloaded here.

About the Michigan Economic Development Corporation
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy. For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check, where more than 96,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $135.4 billion in assets as of September 30, 2015. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle‐market companies, large corporations and institutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens helps its retail customers “bank better” with mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,200 Citizens Bank branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid‐Atlantic and Midwest regions. Citizens also provides mortgage lending, auto lending, student lending and commercial banking services in select markets nationwide. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not‐for‐profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest hedging, leasing and asset finance, specialty finance and trade finance. Citizens operates through its subsidiaries Citizens Bank, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. Additional information about Citizens and its full line of products and services can be found at

About Eastern Market Corporation
Eastern Market Corporation (EMC) is the nonprofit that manages Eastern Market on behalf of the City of Detroit. Our vision is to create the most inclusive, resilient, and robust regional food hub in the United States and to ensure that Eastern Market nourishes Detroit — from food to art and commerce to culture.

For more information, call 313.833.9300, visit our website at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @EasternMarket using #EasternMkt, and Facebook: EasternMarketDetroit.
# # #