Small businesses grow as JP Morgan Chase invests $2.5 million in Detroit

Posted at 4:57 PM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-22 16:57:52-04

JP Morgan Chase announced it is spending $2.5 million to help small businesses grow in Detroit.

The money will help fund programs put on by Tech Town, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, the Southwest Detroit Small Business Association, and Eastern Market Corporation. It is part of the company’s $150 million commitment to the city’s economic recovery.

7 Action News went to Eastern Market to see one program that will benefit. We met one relatively new business that uses it.

The Ice Cream Plant company started with one goal. Robb Zimmerman wanted to make delicious ice cream everyone could enjoy.

“It is allergy-friendly, vegan, without tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, dairy, gluten, soy, corn or sesame,” said Zimmerman.

As he looked at the numbers, he realized he didn’t have the start up funds needed to build a kitchen for an unestablished product. He rented time in Eastern Market’s Detroit Kitchen Connect, a community kitchen for small businesses.

“I wouldn’t be in business without a kitchen like this,” said Zimmerman.

When his ice cream got picked up right away by several restaurants and Holiday Market in Royal Oak, he felt the joy of entrepreneurship.

“I did a lot of smiling and jumping up and down for joy,” said Zimmerman.

It is just one example of how an investment in non-profits that help grow small businesses is changing lives. Half a million dollars will be invested by Chase into the community kitchen.
“Detroit’s flourishing small business community is one of the most important drivers of an inclusive economy for the city,” said Janis Bowdler, Head of Small Business Initiatives, JPMorgan Chase. “We are especially proud to help the city’s entrepreneurs of color connect to the capital and resources they need to grow and thrive.”