Ribbon Cutting Celebrates FFE-supported Improvements at Neighborhood Business


A ribbon cutting was held October 28 to celebrate recent improvements at Ennovy's Beauty Bar, a neighborhood business located in the Northside Neighborhood. The business was able to make needed investments in its building with support from the City of Kalamazoo’s Business Development Fund.

Ennovy’s Beauty Bar is a full-service salon and spa, offering one stop service to families including hair, nails, and skin care. The three-year-old business is owned by Ricky and Yvonne Thrash, both lifelong Kalamazoo residents and Kalamazoo Public Schools graduates.

Ennovy’s was the recipient of a $25,000 small business loan through the Foundation for Excellence-supported Business Development Fund. Mr. and Mrs. Thrash used the funds to make improvements to their building, cleaning and washing the exterior and repairing or replacing windows, fascia board, soffit, gutters and downspouts, and making repairs to their parking lot.

The couple also benefitted from a $2,500 grant to install fire suppression in a food truck business they also own. 

“There is great entrepreneurial spirit in Kalamazoo’s neighborhoods,” noted Dwayne Powell, Jr., the City of Kalamazoo’s Neighborhood Business & Special Projects Coordinator, “and thanks to the support of the Foundation for Excellence, we are investing in these ideas and empowering neighborhood residents to start and grow their businesses.”

Mr. and Mrs. Thrash are also planning to redevelop a portion of their property to create an outdoor café.

“We are planning to have a grand opening in spring 2020, creating job opportunities for community residents and offering good eating and ambiance,” said Mr. Thrash.

The Business Development Fund is a non-traditional lending program funded by the Foundation for Excellence that makes capital available to developing businesses on agreeable terms. Low or no-interest loans up to $35,000 are available to support locally-owned startups and small business expansion. For more information about BDF loans or any of the City of Kalamazoo business support programs, please contact Dwayne Powell, Jr.

About the Foundation for Excellence

The Foundation for Excellence was created in 2016 to help address challenges to the prosperity of the city and help make Kalamazoo the most dynamic, fulfilling and equitable place that it can be.

The FFE provides funds to stabilize the City’s budget, lower the property tax rate, and invest in aspirational community projects and programs. FFE funds support programs and projects of City departments, such as Public Services, Community Planning and Economic Development, and Parks and Recreation. Their work is often conducted in partnerships with external organizations whose missions align with the goals of the City. 


Public Safety Application Period Opens October 30

UPDATE: The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has decided to extend the application period for its current hiring process for “Public Safety Officer” until Monday November 18, 2019 at 8:00 a.m.

KDPS will open up the application process for the position of “Public Safety Officer” on Oct. 30, 2019 and it will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2019. The application process consists of an application, a written test, a background packet, physical agility test, and several interviews throughout the process. Once these steps are complete, it is anticipated that an offer of employment would be given in May, 2020.

Applications may be submitted between 10/30/19 through 11/15/19 at the following websites:


To be considered, applicants must be a U.S. citizen and have a High School Diploma or GED equivalent, a valid driver’s license, and be 21 years old at time of appointment (May, 2020). Applicants will also be required to pass a written and physical test and an extensive background investigation. Applicants are not required to be MCOLES (police) certified to apply. Kalamazoo Public Safety officers are cross-trained as police officers, firefighters, and medical first responders. They respond to calls for police, fire, and medical emergencies, along with performing other duties. Applicants do not need to have prior police or fire certifications to be considered as KDPS will sponsor them through the police academy and provide fire training, if needed. A training wage may apply to those who need to attend the Police Academy. Additional benefits include a Spanish language bonus, veteran on-the-job training education benefits and the federal direct student loan forgiveness program.

Advancement/additional opportunities include: Detective, Canine Handler, Community Policing Officer, Narcotics Investigator, Crime Lab Technician, SWAT Team, Bomb Squad, Honor Guard, and Command Officer.

Information about KDPS is available at www.kalamazoopublicsafety.org and questions can be submitted through the “Contact” link at the top of the Home Page.

Installation of In-Road Pedestrian Signs Underway

More than 60 new In-Road Pedestrian Crossing Signs will be installed at 20 crosswalk locations in the City of Kalamazoo. The new signs are in addition to the 108 “Local Law, Stop Here for Pedestrians” signs that have already been added at 54 crosswalks this year.

The in-road signs are meant to further increase awareness of drivers’ responsibility to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. A new city ordinance that took effect June 1, 2019 requires motorists to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks without a traffic signal (where traffic signals are present, all road users must obey the signal).

Locations for the in-road signs were chosen based on criteria such as traffic speed and volume, street width, and observed pedestrian usage. Four in-road signs will be installed at a typical crosswalk, although wider streets will receive more. Locations were finalized in July but due to delivery delays, installation was not able to begin until October 21.

A map of locations can be found here. The initial 20 locations are expected to be expanded upon in future years as efforts to educate drivers and pedestrians continue.

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.


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     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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