Motor City Match Round 15 awards $500,000 to Detroit entrepreneurs

The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) announced Round 15 of its Motor City Match (MCM) initiative, supporting small business growth in Detroit. Eleven of the 53 business owners received cash grants totaling nearly $500,000, while others received business plans, space or design awards. Celebrating five years of building retail density, MCM awards entrepreneurs a variety of resources to help them get from “idea to open.”

“Over the past four years, the Motor City Match program has helped cultivate a whole new generation of entrepreneurs in our city,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “In addition to bringing more goods, services, and jobs to our neighborhoods, this program is helping to reactivate vacant storefronts along many of our commercial corridors.”

Playa Vs. Playa, a gaming and entertainment business in the Fitzgerald neighborhood, was one of the cash recipients. Owner Lance McGhee II received a $60,000 cash award to help rehabilitate his building and purchase furniture and equipment at 15850 Wyoming Ave. McGee said Playa Vs. Playa will provide the surrounding communities with an inclusive, safe cross-generational facility that features e-sports competitions and training, as well as contemporary and retro video and board games.

“We are turning a dilapidated structure into a place where students, families and neighbors can interact in a positive and fun setting,” McGhee said. “Playa Vs. Playa is near both Mumford and University of Detroit high schools, making it a safe and convenient place for kids to come after school. The building will have a small kitchen and smoothie bar, and feature a multi-purpose room available for classes, meetings, parties or other community events.”

MCM has successfully aided more than 1,300 entrepreneurs through 15 rounds. Since its inception, MCM has awarded $7.5M in cash grants to 170 entrepreneurs on their journey from “idea to open.” Eighty-one percent of winners in the 15 quarterly rounds are minority-owned; 70 percent are women-owned, and 63 percent are Detroit resident-owned. Businesses must base themselves in Detroit for at least two years and demonstrate a benefit to the community to be recognized by MCM. Round 16 applications are currently being scored. Businesses can apply between August 1 and September 1 for the 17th round of MCM.

“Small-business success is crucial to the overall prosperity of Detroit, including adding neighborhood jobs, building our city’s middle class, and creating a culture of entrepreneurialism in the city,” said Kevin Johnson, DEGC President and CEO. “The MCM program launched as the first of its kind in the country nearly five years ago. Fast forward to 2019, and we’re seeing increased small-business density in our commercial corridors and new opportunity for residents to share Detroit’s prosperity.”

Motor City Match Round 15 Cash Awardees:

Detroit Mini Donut, Mobile food truck turned store-front bakery

204 E. Grand River: $5,000


The Lexington, Historic bar offering industry education

5063 Trumbull Suite 1: $20,000


Greenwood District Company, Mens’ and boys’ clothing boutique

17221 Mack Ave.: $25,000


The Gathering Coffee Company, Philanthropic coffee company

2831 East Grand Blvd.: $30,000


Yes We CNA, LLC, Certified CNA trainer with affordable options

18810 – 18820 Woodward Ave.: $30,000


Umi’s Comfort – $50,000

Workshop and functional textile art shop

12200 Petoskey:


Playa Vs. Playa, Cross-generational, inclusive, and safe gaming facility

15850 Wyoming Ave.: $60,000


Social Tykes, Affordable youth play place

1500 Michigan Ave.: $60,000


Polished Lounge, LLC, Neighborhood nail salon

4417 2nd Ave., 48201: $65,000


Motor City Brewing Works, Oldest operating micro-brewery in Detroit

19350 Livernois: $75,000


Toma Detroit, Latin inspired cuisine, cocktails and tasting room

1828 Michigan Ave.: $80,000



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