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Grants Available Through Macomb County's Food Pitch Competition

Metro Detroit Business NewsMt. Clemens, MI - On Tuesday, June 11, 2024, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) launched The Best of the Zest Food Pitch Competition, the county’s first ever pitch event.

The goal of the initiative is to help packaged food and beverage producers flourish by providing the chance to win grants, or technical assistance, through partner organizations that can help grow a business.

Applications are now open for prospective competitors and the portal closes at 5 p.m. on July 25.  All applications will be reviewed, and the top 10 will be invited to Velocity on Aug. 22 to provide a five-minute “pitch” on why they are the Best of the Zest. Winners will be announced Aug. 27.

“This is a great opportunity for some of our small food producers to really show off their products while gaining additional exposure and a chance to win prizes along with wrap around support services,” MCPED Director Vicky Rowinski said.

Eligible businesses include:

  • Packaged food producers that create products from raw materials, either for distribution or face-to-face sales. Can include beverage companies. 
  • Must be one of the following: 
  • Been in business since at least June 11, 2022. Located in Macomb County and has a brick-and-mortar facility with a commercial kitchen. No home businesses
  • Have less than $1 million in annual revenue. Copies of your Profit or Loss statement and W-9 are required.
  • Have 10 employees or less, not including the owners
  • Are in good standing with LARA (state Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) and have a MDARD (Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development) license. (Proof is required)

Eligible businesses will be competing for a portion of $30,000 in grants that can be used on marketing, packaging, labeling and testing services, counseling and small business programming. Seven winners will be selected and can choose from services offered through partners, including Macomb Community College, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, MSU Product Center, Pure Michigan Business Connect, Taste the Local Difference and Velocity.

To learn more about the competition, go to macombgov.org/macomb-business/best-zest-food-pitch-competition  

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