- What is the Michigan Good Food Fund?
- How did it get started?
- What are the goals and priorities of the fund?
- How will it work?
- Who is eligible to apply?
- Who is involved?
- Who has invested in the fund to date?
- Are you accepting new investors/funders?
- What parts of Michigan will be impacted by this lending network?
- Are there other healthy food financing funds in the United States? What’s been the impact?
- What makes the Michigan fund unique?
- Is the Intermediary Lending Program in place? Who are the other lenders?
- How long does it take for a recipient to receive their funding or business assistance after applying to the fund?
- How does the grant support work?
- What is the goal of the business assistance support and who is involved?
- How can I get involved?
What is the Michigan Good Food Fund?
Michigan Good Food Fund invests in food and farm businesses across the state, offering flexible financing and tailored business assistance that supports vibrant, equitable communities. We meet entrepreneurs where they are, connect them with what they need, and build long-term relationships that help their businesses thrive. As we work toward a more resilient, inclusive food industry, we focus on entrepreneurs whose access to power and capital has been historically limited because of their race, ethnicity, and/or gender. Our efforts are guided by the shared vision of our Stakeholder Board, a diverse group of entrepreneurs, farmers, funders, and policymakers with deep roots in Michigan. Learn more.
How did it get started?
The Michigan Good Food Fund was initiated in 2013 with a $3 million federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative award to Capital Impact Partners for use in Michigan.
It is modeled after the pioneering Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, as well as the successful California FreshWorks Fund and similar statewide efforts in Illinois, Virginia, and elsewhere.
What are the goals and priorities of the fund?
The Michigan Good Food Fund is working to advance the following goals and priorities:
- Economic Development: Drive economic development and job creation to grow Michigan’s economy.
- Inclusive Food Industry: Ensure equitable access to food, jobs, ownership, and flexible investment capital.
- Local Sourcing: Increase the sourcing and supply of locally grown and regionally produced foods.
How will it work?
Drawing on our community connections and deep bench of industry experts, Michigan Good Food Fund helps food and farm businesses prepare for and secure the investments they need. Our services include:
Flexible Financing: Our statewide lending network offers a wide range of loans and other financial products that can be used for equipment, inventory, property improvements, and more. Learn more about our financing services here.
Tailored Business Assistance: Our one-on-one consulting offers guidance on everything from filing taxes to marketing to opening up new sales channels. We also host periodic workshops tailored to specific locations or food business sectors. Learn more at migoodfoodfund.org/business-assistance/events. Learn more about our business assistance services here.
Who is eligible to apply?
Michigan Good Food Fund works with food and farm businesses across our state’s food value chain, from growers to food retailers and anyone in between.
While most of the entrepreneurs we support have been operating for at least one year, we do sometimes work with earlier-stage businesses run by business owners with industry experience, or entrepreneurs who have contributed their own funds to their startup budget.
If you’re working with a back-of-the-napkin idea, you’re most likely not yet ready for our financing. Even if you’re not sure whether Michigan Good Food Fund is a fit for your business right now, come talk to us. Email us at email@example.com or call 734.213.3999 x212.
Who is involved?
Michigan Good Food Fund’s work is guided by the shared vision of our Stakeholder Board—a diverse collective of people with deep roots in Michigan and a range of food industry careers. Some of them have received our loans in the past. Together, we work to ensure that our future investments reflect the priorities of the people and communities most affected by wealth inequities.
In 2021, Fair Food Network became the administrative manager of Michigan Good Food Fund. From 2015-2020, Capital Impact Partners led administrative management of the Michigan Good Food Fund. In 2021, Fair Food Network transitioned into this role.
Michigan Good Food Fund was developed by four founding partners: Capital Impact Partners, Fair Food Network, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Initial funders, including The Kresge Foundation, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, and Northern Trust Corporation also supported this innovative effort alongside federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative funding.
Who has invested in the fund to date?
Investors in Michigan Good Food Fund have included Capital Impact Partners, The Kresge Foundation, the Max M. & Majorie S. Fisher Foundation, Northern Trust, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Are you accepting new investors/funders?
Yes. The Michigan Good Food Fund presents a strategic opportunity for foundations and other investors looking to make an impact. We are specifically looking for flexible grant capital to support innovative projects or high impact borrowers that may be overlooked by traditional financing sources.
We invite interested partners to join us in this important effort. Connect with us today
What parts of Michigan will be impacted by this lending network?
The goal of the fund is to impact all of Michigan by strengthening its food system, driving economic development and job creation, and creating greater and more equitable access to good food for all Michiganders.
Are there other healthy food financing funds in the United States? What’s been the impact?
Yes. The Michigan Good Food Fund is modeled after the pioneering Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, as well as other successful statewide healthy food financing efforts including the California FreshWorks Fund, the Illinois Fresh Food Fund, and the Virginia Fresh Food Loan Fund.
These other healthy food financing efforts have demonstrated significant impact to date:
- Pennsylvania: The healthy food financing campaign in Pennsylvania resulted in 88 new or expanded grocery stores, created 5,000 jobs, and increased healthy food access for nearly 500,000 people.
- California: Based on the evaluation completed for California FreshWorks, which included three retail locations, the approximately $20 million initial investment in those three retailers led to an estimated $40 million of initial economic impact with an expected $30 million annual recurring impact, based on an economic multiplier model.
What makes the Michigan fund unique?
There are three elements that make it unique compared to other healthy food financing efforts:
- Support Michigan’s entire good food chain. Unlike other healthy food financing efforts, it will finance good food entrepreneurs across the regional food supply chain with a strong, but not exclusive focus on retail projects. Other models do not target processing and production, as the Michigan fund does. Coupled with our diversity of agricultural products, we expect the number jobs created to be much higher than similar models nationally. This is a first of its kind approach working to create financial and social impact throughout the food supply chain.
- Serious focus on equity. This means ensuring equitable access to food, jobs, ownership, and flexible investment capital.
- Leverage unique Michigan assets. This includes our state’s robust infrastructure and capacity—from strong community collaborations to innovative nonprofit efforts. Specifically, the fund will be grounded in the goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter. We also hope to leverage other innovations such as having Michigan’s SNAP incentive program, Double Up Food Bucks, included in supported retail projects.
Is the Intermediary Lending Program in place? Who are the other lenders?
Loans of $250,000 and more are underwritten by lender Capital Impact Partners, a certified Community Development Financial Institution with a 30-year history of lending in underserved communities. The Michigan Good Food Fund is also partnering with select intermediaries including Detroit Development Fund, Fair Food Network's Fair Food Fund, Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW), Lake Trust Credit Union, Michigan Women Forward, and Northern Initiatives to underwrite loans less than $250,000 and bring deeper focus in select regions.
How long does it take for a recipient to receive their funding or business assistance after applying to the fund?
We will review each project individually and aim to be as expedient as possible in responding to financing or business assistance inquiries.
How does the grant support work?
Limited grant dollars may periodically be available with the goal to prepare enterprises for financing.
We do not offer stand-alone grants. This support is not meant to replace existing grant programs offered through traditional philanthropic sources such as private and community foundations, corporate giving, or government programs.
What is the goal of the business assistance support and who is involved?
The goal of business assistance is to prepare food and farm businesses for financing.
Our one-on-one consulting offers guidance on everything from filing taxes to marketing to opening up new sales channels. We also host periodic workshops tailored to specific locations or food business sectors.
Our growing list of business assistance providers includes Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and Fair Food Network. Fair Food Network’s focus is grocery retail and good food entrepreneurs; the Center’s focus is production, aggregation and distribution, as well as agricultural and protein processing projects.
How can I get involved?
Whether you are a food or farm business owner or potential investor or funder, there are many ways to get involved.
For food and farm entrepreneurs, our lending network helps businesses across the state get the money and support they need to thrive. With us, you don’t just get a loan; you get a long-term relationship with a team that sticks with you as you grow.
As a partner or funder you will maximize the impact of your work while joining a statewide community committed to transforming communities across our state into places of opportunity.
We invite interested funders and partners to join this important effort. Connect with us today for more information.