Grants are available to help business owners in the Jackson MLK corridor.

JACKSON, MI – Business owners on Jackson’s south side can apply for grants through a new program through the City of Jackson MLK Corridor Improvement Authority to make improvements.

The MLK Corridor Improvement Authority launched the Jackson Entrepreneur and Real Estate Fund on Wednesday, November 1, to provide financial assistance to city business owners. These grants are provided to encourage commercial development along the MLK corridor, officials said.

“From expanding their businesses to establishing a brick-and-mortar location, Jackson business owners have goals that this critical funding will make a reality,” said MLK Corridor Improvement Authority Board Member George Brown.

These grants are available in three categories:

  • Real Estate/Capital Grants: For construction and site improvements. Examples are facade improvements, lighting, licensing, permitting and inspection fees.
  • Business/Operating Grants: For general operating expenses. Examples include renting office space, insurance and inventory.
  • Technical Assistance Grants: For access to 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. Priority will be given to applicants in the MLK corridor, officials said.

The corridor’s boundaries span Martin Luther King Jr. Drive from E. Mason to E. South streets, as well as Prospect Street, Cooper Street and Euclid Street.

Each business can apply for a maximum of $50,000 spread across each category, officials said. The total cost of these grants will be $250,000, officials said.

Applications are available on the MLK Corridor Improvement Authority website. Completed applications should be sent to [email protected], with the subject line “Entrepreneurial Fund Application.” You can also arrive in person at Jackson City Hall, 14th floor, 161 W. Michigan Ave.

The submission deadline is Monday, December 4th.

The MLK Corridor Improvement Authority will work with the Jackson Community Foundation to oversee the grant application process, officials said.

“I am so grateful that the Jackson Community Foundation is able to serve our community, and especially the South Side,” said Jackson Community Foundation President/CEO Monica Moser.

The Jackson City Council created the MLK Redevelopment Authority in October 2020 to lead redevelopment efforts in the area.

Related: Revitalizing MLK Drive: New Corridor Improvement Authority Approved in Jackson

Michigan created the Economic Development Toolkit in 2018 to address financial improvements in business corridors outside of a community’s core downtown. The Corridor Improvement Authority uses tax-increment financing — a method of freezing tax rates for a number of years, capturing and reinvesting the increased tax revenue — to make improvements to the designated area.

Funding for these grants comes from the Jackson City Council’s August 2022 resolution to allocate $4.5 million to the MLK Corridor Improvement Authority. Funds from the city’s America’s Rescue Plan Act fund will help the city with commercial redevelopment and support for small businesses, officials said.

Related: $4.5 million from the city to redevelop the south side of Jackson

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