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Crowdfunding campaign launched for “Can-Do Kitchen is Growing” project in Kalamazoo

Press Release

Contact:
Kathleen Achtenberg, MEDC
517.489.0557
achtenbergk@michigan.org

Lucy Dilley
Executive Director, Can-Do Kitchen
269.492.0261
lucy@candokitchen.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 15, 2022

Crowdfunding campaign launched for “Can-Do Kitchen is Growing” project in Kalamazoo

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – Kalamazoo will soon gain an accessible and inclusive commercial kitchen facility, multipurpose community space, and business incubator for all entrepreneurs through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and local nonprofit Can-Do Kitchen announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by August 10, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit: patronicity.com/cando.

“Spaces like Can-Do Kitchen are critical in driving lasting economic development at the local level. This project will expand a successful food entrepreneur prgram into an exciting community asset where community members can gather and small businesses can grow,”” said MEDC Executive Vice President of Economic Development Incentives Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

For more than 14 years, Can-Do Kitchen has been supporting food entrepreneurs in learning new skills and launching businesses in Kalamazoo. This campaign will allow the nonprofit to complete its new commercial kitchens and multi-purpose space in their new building and expand Can-Do Kitchen into Can-Do Kalamazoo, a business incubator and enterprise for all business models.

This new kitchen facility will have multiple food production areas, more specialized equipment, capacity for cooking classes, and pop-up event space. The new Can-Do Kitchen will allow food businesses to scale up further before needing to take on the overhead of their own standalone facilities. This time in the incubator allows micro-businesses to build their capacity to sustain through the difficult first 5 years. The new multi-purpose space provides an accessible event facility for expos, networking events, pop-up retail, and anything else the community can imagine.

“The PSCP matching grant program is a great boost to help us during this last stretch of our capital campaign,” said Can-Do Kitchen Executive Director Lucy Dilley. “Our donors are going to be so excited to know that their gifts can be matched 1:1 by the MEDC! And our passionate entrepreneurs can’t wait for our new, larger commercial kitchens and multi-purpose event space.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.

“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in the importance of community wealth building,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the League. “Places such as the Can-Do Kitchen are a great example of investments in infrastructure that will benefit the community for generations to come. This is what community wealth building is all about.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of May 31, 2022, MEDC has provided more than $10.1 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 316 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $11.8 million raised from 54,355 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning our matching funds.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.

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