Business Development Fund

Applications for Business Development Fund Grants are currently closed.   

The Business Development Fund offers funding to local entrepreneurs and neighborhood businesses with 10 or fewer employees. This empowers our local entrepreneurs, builds wealth, and adds job opportunities in our community. It also helps to create more complete neighborhoods.   

Technical Assistance Grants up to $5,000: Technical Assistance Grants can be used for a variety of services to grow and strengthen a business. They can be used for things like bookkeeping, websites, digital point-of-sale subscriptions (Quickbooks, Toast or Square for example), legal fees, branding & design, and technology updates (like computers, printers, etc). This grant can also be used for architect services when renovating or expanding your business. 

Facade Improvement Grants up to $25,000: Facade Improvement Grants help to make businesses and properties more attractive to customers by renovating street-facing parts of the building.

Whitebox Buildout Grants up to $25,000: Whitebox Grants provide funding to prepare interior space for a business. They can cover things like exhaust hoods, HVAC, or structural changes.

To be eligible, your business must:
  • Be located in the city of Kalamazoo (you can see a detailed map of the city here)
  • Have 10 or fewer employees
  • Have been in business for at least one year (you will need to show articles of incorporation, business license, or DBA) 
  • Have annual revenue less than $1 million
  • Have not received Business Development Fund support in the previous year
  • Be current on property taxes with no bills or invoices overdue to the City.
  • Businesses located in Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo focus neighborhoods will be prioritized (Northside, Eastside, and Edison)  

You will need to provide documentation showing that your business is eligible with your application. Sorry, but cannabis businesses and mobile/food truck businesses are not eligible. 

A 1% application fee will be assessed for Business Development Fund grants.