DETROIT — To help independent grocers expand on their fresh food offerings, Detroit Mayor David Bing unveiled a $1 million Green Grocer Project earlier this week.
Up to $500,000 in federal block grant funds will be used by the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., which is overseeing the project, to create a revolving loan fund for financing store improvements for the city's more than 80 grocers. About five markets may receive loans initially, Detroit officials said in a published report.
The program's other $400,000 will be used to help five to 10 inner-city grocers with operational and expansion issues, such as customer service, product handling and accounting. A three-year, $32 million Green Grocer Project is needed to meet the city's fresh food needs, Detroit officials said.
The program, which has a little more than $1 million now, is a start toward meeting that goal, they added. With a few discount Aldi stores in the city, and a Meijer superstore scheduled to open at Eight Mile and Woodward next year, Detroit is short on major grocery chain outlets. The city hopes to raise additional funding from private foundations and public sources, the report said.
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