Small Business Growth Activator


Introducing the Small Business Growth Activator: Transform your small business into a strong business!

Washtenaw County and its community partners invite YOU to apply to the 

Small Business Growth Activator, five unique programs designed to help your emerging small business move to the next level. There’s no cost to you or your business.


APPLY TODAY - see links below under each program!


All qualifying businesses are urged to apply.

Your business can be based online, at home, in a brick-and-mortar space or it can be mobile. 

  1. Your household income must be less than 80% of the median in Washtenaw County. Use the table below to determine if you qualify.



One person

Less than $62,600

2 People

Less than $71,550

3 people

Less than $80,500

4 people

Less than $89,400

5 People

Less than  $96,600

6 People

Less than $103,750

7 People

Less than $110,900

2. Your business must have been open and operating in Washtenaw County (one of the Urban County Jurisdictions see FAQ’s for areas) as of March 16, 2020. (If you closed after March 16, 2020 and want to reopen, you are eligible. If you live outside of Washtenaw County but your business is located here, you are eligible.)

3. You have fewer than 5 employees, including yourself.



Please review each program and apply to the program that is closest to what you need. You will only be allowed to participate in 1 program. Here are the programs:


Food Businesses and the Collaborative Kitchen with Growing Hope Learn alternative strategies for growing your food-based business in shared spaces. Our four-part program will involve an intake and coaching session to determine your needs, with monetary support toward meeting your needs, such as commercial kitchen usage, accounting or marketing support to bolster your operation. Then, you'll write a proposal for a 5k grant to grow your business and report back in June 2023. APPLY here

The Digital Pivot Program is an 8-week cohort designed to support entrepreneurs as they scale their business through e-commerce. Participants will walk away with a functional website with shop functionality, social media e-commerce solutions, shipping tools, and a $5,000 grant to scale their new business strategy. APPLY here

Ready to Uplift & Grow Your Business through interactive sessions--and receive a $5,000 grant upon successful completion! The Uplift Michigan™ program from the Michigan SBDC offers personal business coaching, mastermind mentorship, and peer-to-peer support for diverse Washtenaw County businesses. Eligible businesses may receive additional website, bookkeeping, and marketing support valued up to $2,500. APPLY here

Mind Your Business with the Association of Businesses of Color will help you get the knowledge and mindset you need to lead your business toward success. You’ll learn in a community of your peers, led by a coach, in an online mastermind (Saturday mornings, 4 sessions for 4 months) followed by individualized deep work with a business coach. After completing the program, you’ll receive a $5,000 grant to put what you’ve learned into practice! Choose your session: Winter 2023 or Spring 2023. APPLY here

Advance Your Business with Small Business Consulting from Ann Arbor SPARK. Every participant in the Advance Your Business program will be paired with a dedicated business consultant to help you address challenges or work through the next big project you’d like to tackle. Topics can include strategic planning, marketing, sales (or let us know if you have a need we didn’t list here!) One-on-one working sessions are held either in person or via Zoom, with flexible scheduling options available. Enrolled participants will be eligible for up to $2,500 in vendor services (marketing, accounting, law services, etc.) and a $5,000 grant. APPLY here

QUESTIONS? Please reach out to Cheranissa Roach, [email protected] or Veronica Brandon, [email protected]



What if I don’t speak English? Are translators available?

Our community partners can help with translators and resources in Mandarin, Arabic and Spanish.


What if I don’t qualify for these programs? 
Washtenaw County is full of rich resources for every entrepreneur in the community. We’d like to share some of our favorite resources with you. Please connect with us. Cheranissa Roach [email protected] or Veronica Brandon [email protected] 


Can I apply to more than one program? Can I participate in more than one program?

In order to do the most good for the most small businesses, we ask you to apply to one program and to participate in only one program. If one of the programs you are interested in is full, apply to another!


How many spaces are available in these programs? 

We anticipate that Washtenaw County Small Business Growth Activator, through its community partners, can help 80-100 businesses in 2023. 


Where does funding from this program come from?

This initiative is funded by the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development, which received a grant to help microbusinesses who have been affected by the pandemic. 

What is the Urban County? 

What is the Urban County? The Washtenaw Urban County is a partnership between Washtenaw County government and the cities, townships and villages who have agreed to participate in federally funded programs. City of Dexter, Sylan Township, Ann Arbor Township, Augusta Township, Bridgewater Township, City of Ann Arbor, City of Saline, City of Ypsilanti, Dexter Township, Lima Township, Lima Township, Manchester Township, Northfield Township, Pittsfield Township, Salem Township, Saline Township, Scio Township, Superior Township, Webster Township, York Township, Ypsilanti Township

Small Business Growth Activator Interest Form: If you're interested and want to learn more, please complete the form below.

  1. I am interested in the following program/s *

    Check all that apply

  2. Leave This Blank:

  3. This field is not part of the form submission.