LANSING, Mich. — Nine communities around Michigan have been awarded a total of $250,000 in grants aimed at supporting small local businesses, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today. And Downtown Lansing’s own Sultan’s Express was the recipient of $25,000 of those funds, to use towards interior renovations as well as an expansion of their seating and retail space.
Introduced in 2019, the Match on Main program was intended to provide grants of between $5,000 and $25,000 to Select or Master level Michigan Main Street communities in conjunction with eligible businesses seeking support. Projects could include interior building renovations, furniture and fixtures, permanent equipment, point of sale systems, marketing expenses, and inventory. Eligible businesses must also have worked with the Michigan Small Business Development Center on a business plan.
“Healthy small businesses are a vital component of our downtowns,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “These grants will help local businesses grow, further strengthening the commercial districts in these communities, while developing vibrant, unique, and attractive places where people want to live, work, and play.”
“The businesses that make up our downtown and add to the experience of downtown Lansing residents, workers, and visitors each and every day, are the heart and soul of our community. They serve up their products with a smile, learn the names and orders of their customers, and constantly give back – but as small business owners, they face financial obstacles every day,” said Cathleen Edgerly, executive director of Downtown Lansing Inc. “We are excited and proud to see Sultan’s Express, as a business that has been serving our community for over 20 years, receive Match on Main funding support that will allow Abdullah and his staff expand their space, provide customers with a refreshed look, and increase their business overall.”
Downtown Lansing’s Main Street program will use its $25,000 grant to assist with the renovation of Sultan’s Express, a long-time restaurant in the heart of downtown. Featuring authentic Middle Eastern cuisine, this favorite lunchtime eatery will be renovated with a focus on both form and function, including a new seating layout that will provide for communal dining, round tables for open conversation, and larger tables for expanded groups.
Michigan’s small businesses are a vital part of the state’s economy, employing more than 1.8 million people. Helping businesses to open and grow is a key focus of MEDC, and the Match on Main Street program is one of MEDC’s tools that provides opportunities for new and expanding businesses located in Main Street districts to grow and succeed. For more information on the program, visit here. To learn more about MEDC’s services for Michigan businesses, visit here
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