Detroit Regional Chamber > Closing Equity Gaps in Detroit > Investing in Small Business Vital to Closing Equity Gaps, Growing Detroit

Investing in Small Business Vital to Closing Equity Gaps, Growing Detroit

November 30, 2023

By Matt Elliott

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s recent Detroit Resident Voices Survey delivered important insights into the issues facing Detroiters.

Among the most concerning was that 81% of city residents who plan to start a business do not have the necessary financial and non-financial resources to do so.


Our challenge: How do we more effectively support potential small business owners and close equity gaps in this area?

Bank of America has a long history of investing in small businesses in the city of Detroit and will continue to contribute to our community’s small-business ecosystem, including supporting organizations that are helping owners grow their businesses.

This critical work includes funding the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). For the past 15 years, Bank of America has partnered with the DEGC to provide more than $1.3 million in grants, supporting the DEGC’s efforts to elevate small businesses in Detroit.

It also includes supporting the work of the city’s community development financial institutions (CDFIs) like Invest Detroit. The bank awarded a $500,000 grant to Invest Detroit in 2022 to help fund its financing programs that help facilitate millions of dollars in additional economic development in Detroit neighborhoods over the next three years.

Ultimately, Invest Detroit’s commitment to neighborhood revitalization aligns with Bank of America’s goal of providing economic stability and mobility in the communities we serve. This partnership will lead to opportunities for developers and business owners and help move Detroit forward.

Successful small businesses create jobs and increase economic mobility, while helping the city and the Region retain accomplished, young Detroiters invested in the city’s future.

We must continue to find ways to link existing and future small business owners with expertise and training in business formation, investment, financial management, and entrepreneurship. And Bank of America remains committed to this effort along with the Chamber and our partner organizations in Detroit.

Matt Elliott headshot

Matt Elliott

Matt Elliott is Michigan Market President for Bank of America and Chair of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Board of Directors.

The Detroit Resident Voices Survey Report highlights Detroiters’ daily experiences and perceptions and elevates issues that are central to their quality of life. Released by the Detroit Regional Chamber and Gallup Center on Black Voices, the survey report provides insights that can be used in the public, private, and philanthropic sectors to develop new programs and initiatives to identify and close racial equity gaps. It is part of the Chamber’s Racial Justice and Economic Equity Initiative.