Flint & Genesee Business Bridge is working to create an online directory to support BIPOC businesses
FLINT, MI — Flint & Genesee Business Bridge is working to increase exposure and market access for minority-owned small businesses in Genesee County.
I’m Building Something Consulting, LLC and Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance have partnered to create an online directory of businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and People of Color in the region with a $95,000 grant from the Ruth Mott Foundation.
“Small businesses are the building blocks of our neighborhoods and we’ve heard from residents that supporting small businesses is a priority,” said Ruth Mott Foundation President Raquel Thueme. “The Flint & Genesee Business Bridge will help BIPOC-owned businesses get the resources and connections they need to thrive.”
In 2021, the US Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy reported that 1.9 million employees worked for small businesses in the state of Michigan, representing 48.3% of Michigan employees.
Women made up 47.7% of Michigan workers and owned 43.2% of businesses. Racial minorities made up 18.1% of Michigan’s workers and owned 15.4% of businesses in the state.
Two small businesses that have already signed up to be part of the directory are Vehicle City Onsite Fleet Service and Prestige Janitorial Services, both in Flint.
Prestige Janitorial Services is run by the husband and wife team, Jennifer and James Johnson.
They opened their business in 2012 and offer high quality commercial cleaning services. Prestige is located in downtown Flint and has continued its operations by hiring Flint residents as its staff.
Flint’s On-Site Fleet Service is a local veteran- and women-owned business. They service and repair commercial vehicles throughout Genesee County. They promise to send their technicians to the company or to the roadside in case of emergency to keep the commercial fleet vehicle on the road.
“The Business Bridge also allows a business owner to connect with prospects and engage with other businesses through networking events and trainings,” said Tyler Rossmaessler, executive director of Flint. & Genesee Economic Alliance.
About 20% of small businesses fail in the first year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. By the end of their fifth year, 50% have weakened. After 10 years, only a third of small businesses have survived.
Businesses can register for the directory online at developflintandgenesee.org/business-bridge/.
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