A total of 134 businesses have been selected as finalists for this year’s NEIdeas challenge, a program rewarding existing small businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park with cash for their ideas for growth. Over 600 businesses submitted ideas by the challenge’s June 1 application deadline. This fall, 30 of the finalists will be selected to win $10,000 each for their ideas to grow, and two others will be selected to win $100,000 each for their ideas to “grow big.”
“We are thrilled at both the number and quality of applications we received for this year’s NEIdeas challenge,” said Pamela Lewis, director of the New Economy Initiative. “The strength of these applications is a testament to the strength and resilience of small business owners throughout the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park.”
This year’s finalists include a wide variety of businesses spanning many sectors, from chocolatiers to car washes, restaurants to construction companies, marketing firms to manufacturers, boutiques to barber colleges. Finalist businesses range in age from 3 to 107 years old. Applicants’ ideas for growth include purchasing software to promote their products and services, adding production equipment, building out new facilities, acquiring work vehicles, improving facades, and much more.