Business Development Fund

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. 

There is currently a waiting list for Facade Improvement and Whitebox Grants and we are not accepting applications at this time. Email development@kalamazoocity.org to join the waiting list. We look forward to working with you as soon as possible! 

To be eligible, businesses 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)  

Sorry, but cannabis businesses and mobile/food truck businesses are not eligible. 

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

Online

Step 1.Prepare Your Proposal

Before submitting an application, gather all of the documentation that you will need. We will ask about your business, its history, and its ownership. You will also need to provide banking and financial information and itemized costs and sources of funds for your project or proposal. You'll need the following documentation to apply: 

  • Proof of a 5% match (shown with a copy of a bank statement)
  • Two years of business income history and two years of future projections
  • A copy of your driver's license or government ID
  • An itemized budget with funding sources for the project or request
  • A W-9 form for your business
  • An EFT form for direct deposit
  • Articles of incorporation, business license, or DBA

Step 2.Submit an Application

Complete the web application below. Make sure you provide all requested information, or your application may be delayed. 

Apply For BDF Funding Online

Step 3.Follow Up From City Staff

A member of our team will review your application and follow up with you regarding the next steps. If any information is missing, they ask you to provide it before proceeding. They will also help make arrangements for you to pay the 1% application fee. Generally it takes 8-10 weeks to fully process Business Development Fund applications.

By Mail

Step 1.Prepare Your Proposal

Before submitting an application, gather all of the documentation that you will need. We will ask about your business, its history, and its ownership. You will also need to provide banking and financial information and itemized costs and sources of funds for your project or proposal. You'll need the following documentation to apply: 

  • Proof of a 5% match (shown with a copy of a bank statement)
  • Two years of business income history and two years of future projections
  • A copy of your driver's license or government ID
  • An itemized budget with funding sources for the project or request
  • A W-9 form for your business
  • An EFT form for direct deposit
  • Articles of incorporation, business license, or DBA

Step 2.Submit an Application

Print and complete the web application below. Make sure you provide all requested information in the checklist, or your application may be delayed. 

Business Development Fund Grant Application(PDF, 331KB)
Business Development Fund Grant Checklist(PDF, 155KB)

Return the completed application by mail to:

City of Kalamazoo
Community Planning & Economic Development
245 N Rose Street Suite 100
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

You can include payment of the 1% fee with your application if paying by check. Please do not send cash.

Step 3.Follow Up From City Staff

A member of our team will review your application and follow up with you regarding the next steps. If any information is missing, they ask you to provide it before proceeding. They will also help make arrangements for you to pay the 1% application fee if needed. Generally it takes 8-10 weeks to fully process Business Development Fund applications.

 

 

In Person

Step 1.Prepare Your Proposal

Before submitting an application, gather all of the documentation that you will need. We will ask about your business, its history, and its ownership. You will also need to provide banking and financial information and itemized costs and sources of funds for your project or proposal. You'll need the following documentation to apply: 

  • Proof of a 5% match (shown with a copy of a bank statement)
  • Two years of business income history and two years of future projections
  • A copy of your driver's license or government ID
  • An itemized budget with funding sources for the project or request
  • A W-9 form for your business
  • An EFT form for direct deposit
  • Articles of incorporation, business license, or DBA

Step 2.Submit an Application

Print and complete the web application below. Make sure you provide all requested information in the checklist, or your application may be delayed. 

Business Development Fund Grant Application(PDF, 331KB)
Business Development Fund Grant Checklist(PDF, 155KB)

Return the completed application in person during business hours to:

City of Kalamazoo
Community Planning & Economic Development
245 N Rose Street Suite 100
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

You can also return applications to the drop box located behind City Hall on St. Johns Place near Lovell Street. You can include payment of the 1% fee with your application if paying by check. Please do not include cash.

Step 3.Follow Up From City Staff

A member of our team will review your application and follow up with you regarding the next steps. If any information is missing, they ask you to provide it before proceeding. They will also help make arrangements for you to pay the 1% application fee if needed.