for motor city contractors

Investing in Detroit

The Motor City Contractor Fund is a business growth initiative that provides technical assistance along with flexible and affordable lending to Detroit-based contractors. Participants receive 3-6 months of technical assistance, coaching, and supportive resources.

About motor city contractor fund

The challenge

Detroit contractors face a variety of business and financial challenges that prevent them from qualifying or competing for public, private, residential, and/or commercial projects. These challenges cause contractors to focus on a few projects at a time, rather than growing and scaling their business. When contractors can’t grow their businesses, it creates a shortage of resources to remove blight, rehabilitate homes, and bring Detroit’s neighborhoods back to thriving, well-maintained places.

The Solution

The Motor City Contractor Fund (MCCF) is a collaborative effort between Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), banks, foundations, and the public and private sectors to bring flexible and affordable lending to Detroit-based contractors. This initiative offers the necessary tools to support business growth for contractors to competitively bid and successfully complete demolition, rehabilitation, and new construction projects.

The Details

MCCF will begin with a twelve-month pilot phase that combines lending, business advisory services, community-based partnerships, and technology guidance to successfully meet the needs of a number of referred local emerging Detroit contractors while supporting their business growth opportunities. The pilot phase consists of two major components:

1. An Innovative Financial Product:

A working group of banks and CDFIs have developed a contractor-focused loan product with the goal of making the transition from one project to another less burdensome. Contractors can often find themselves in the situation of needing to expend capital to start a new project while not yet receiving funds from their previous project. This can result in a contractor stretching their finances to the breaking point or simply rejecting new projects altogether and missing out on those potential opportunities for growth. MCCF financing would provide a buffer for contractors to make these transitions more fluid and increase their capacity for additional projects. MCCF has the charitable purpose of making flexible, low interest loans to Detroit-based small business contractors.

2. Industry-Specific Technical Assistance:

A working group of stakeholders, including emerging Detroit contractors, have worked to develop technical assistance designed to promote business growth with the following key characteristics:
  1. A growth curriculum and navigation services for contractors
  2. Flexible, on-demand learning with pre-recorded modules
  3. One-on-one coaching from professionals with expertise related to the curriculum


To be eligible for the Motor City Contractor Fund, a contractor must meet specific requirements, including but not limited to:
  • Residential or commercial contractors with proven experience operating and headquartered in Detroit, and/or with multiple active or future projects in Detroit and employing Detroit residents
  • Participant contractors must have at least two years in business or have considerable personal experience, at discretion of program
  • Participant must be able to prove related experience and at least one year in business unless a successor of an existing business
  • If a successor of an existing business, participant must prove experience of managing the prior business or directly related business
  • For LISC home repair, participant must have completed 3-5 projects and provide references or a sponsor in the form of a larger contractor or institutional organization to provide letters of support

Referred and qualified contractors will have an opportunity to discuss short-term capital needs with select community-based lenders. As capital need discussions advance, community lenders will collect business and owner documentation from each participant to underwrite loans based upon their criteria, which varies based on the lender.

Additional detail on program eligibility and documentation requirements can be found at this link.

Participating Lenders

The following partner Community Development Financial Institutions have committed to provide lending for the Motor City Contractor Fund.

partners and supporters

Motor City Contractor Fund was developed by a cohost group of four organizations looking to bolster Detroit contractors: Rocket Community Fund, Community Reinvestment Fund USA, Invest Detroit, and Barton Malow. These organizations have engaged with a larger group of over thirty local stakeholders, provided support, and gathered input from local contractors.

With additional Support From:


The Motor City Contractor Fund (MCCF) is a collaborative effort between CDFIs, banks, foundations, and the public and private sectors to bring flexible and affordable lending to Detroit-based contractors.

The pilot period runs from April 2022 through March 2023.

The pilot program is only accepting applications on a referral basis. The program will be open to all Detroit-based contractors sometime in Spring 2023. If you are an interested contractor, please fill out the contact form to receive future updates.

Yes. The pilot program will be for Detroit-based contractors only.

The loan covers certain working capital including but not limited to upfront payroll expenses, inventory, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, materials or equipment rental, and accounts payable.

The Technical Assistance program will be designed and operated by Lifeline Global Consulting in collaboration with key stakeholders. Contractors referred to the pilot will be screened with an intake assessment to determine their eligibility and to begin identifying opportunities for intervention, support, and business growth planning. The program will also launch a virtual technical assistance “hub,” which will enable on-demand learning and facilitate opportunities for in-person coaching with industry experts. Participating contractors will receive a $5,000 grant to apply their learnings and address immediate needs aligned with their customized business growth strategy. Lifeline Global Consulting will monitor contractors’ progress throughout the program and maintain relationships with community lenders to increase opportunities to receive a fixed loan with multiple disbursements.

If you are interested in funding or sponsoring the MCCF program, please fill out the contact form and someone will reach out.

Yes. Contractor participants must be licensed through the State of Michigan. 

No. This is not a forgivable loan. 

$4,500,000 in total will be available for the pilot.

Loans for contractors will be made in amounts varying between $25,000 and $300,000. Loans are subject to credit approval and meeting eligibility criteria.

7% fixed rate on funds disbursed.

Contractors will work closely with one of the participating Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to review program eligibility, gather required documentation for underwriting, and provide other information required to originate a loan.

No. However, at the originator’s discretion, a UCC lien filing may be done for a borrower. Personal guarantees may also be required for individuals that own 20% or more of applying businesses and those that have controlling interest in the business (per organizational documents).