Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership Accepting Small Business Applications for Match on Main Grant Program

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Hannah Zeigler

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)’s Match on Main program, which serves as a tool for local units of government, downtown development authorities, or other downtown management organizations to support place-based businesses, is being expanded to provide access for more communities. The program allows Main Street community-serving organizations to make grants to place-based small businesses located in their traditional commercial districts impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Locally, the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is helping the MEDC to facilitate the Match on Main program. In order to apply, the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership needs to first identify the small businesses who will receive grant funds as part of this program by next week.

This is a valuable opportunity to apply for financial assistance for downtown businesses, so act quickly. Feel free to contact the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership staff at team@downtownkalamazoo.org with any questions.

About the Match on Main COVID-19 Response Program

The Match on Main COVID-19 Response Program temporarily expands the MEDC’s Match on Main Program and will provide up to $50,000 to local downtown management organizations to administer to eligible small businesses located in traditional downtowns, neighborhood and commercial districts, or areas planned and zoned for concentrated commercial development. This program serves as a tool for local units of government, downtown development authorities, or other downtown management organizations, like the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership, that desire to support place-based businesses located in their traditional commercial districts by providing grant funding to eligible businesses in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Program Details + Eligibility Criteria

The Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is eligible to apply for up to a total of $50,000 on behalf of the businesses we represent. Downtown Kalamazoo businesses that meet the following criteria can submit an application to the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership to be a recipient of these grant funds. Up to 25 different businesses will be selected to receive $2,000 each in grant funding.

Eligible Businesses (per MEDC requirements):

  • The business was affected by the COVID-19 outbreak
  • The business is for-profit and headquartered in Michigan
  • The business has 25 employees or less
  • The business sells products or services face to face within a traditional downtown, neighborhood or commercial district, or area planned and zoned for concentrated development
  • The business has not already received or been approved to receive MSF Small Business Relief Program funding or an MEDC Match on Main grant within the last 24 months
  • Low-to-Moderate Income Owner *MEDC Preference, not required

Ineligible Businesses (per MEDC requirements):

  • Non-profits
  • Franchises
  • Businesses located in strip malls
  • “Big Box” retailers
  • Marijuana related businesses
  • Businesses who have been approved to receive support from the Michigan Strategic Fund’s Small Business Relief Program or an MEDC Match on Main Grant within the last 24 months

If you have questions about the program or your business eligibility, please email us at team@downtownkalamazoo.org or call 269.344.0795.

Eligible Uses of Grant Funds

Grant funds may be used by the business for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, COVID-19 relief or recovery expenses or other ordinary business expenses.

Application Process

  1. Interested businesses shall first download the attached Local Business Worksheet to their computer or laptop, complete and save the application. Businesses must then submit applications to the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership via email at team@downtownkalamazoo.org, no later than Monday, May 25 at 5:00 p.m. Due to the tight application deadline, worksheets received after that time will not be considered.
  2. Businesses will be selected by a review committee comprised of the public, private and nonprofit sectors, including representatives from local economic development organizations, business support organizations, the City, and downtown businesses ineligible to apply. The committee will evaluate the worksheets using a scoring matrix provided by MEDC to determine which businesses will be included in the overall application. Businesses who meet eligibility requirements, demonstrate the greatest financial, and have not already received financial assistance will be given priority, but all eligible businesses are encouraged to apply. Please note: submitting a business application does not guarantee inclusion in the grant application.
  3. The Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership will notify all businesses selected as part of the grant application by Friday, May 29, 2020 and submit the grant application for consideration by the MEDC. The MEDC will announce awardees by Wednesday, June 10, 2020.


Here’s a link to the application. Remember to download it to your computer and save your edits.

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