Wayne County pulls commitment of $32M for new small business fund

Wafa Dinaro is the executive director of the New Economy Initiative, a philanthropic and special project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

Wayne County has pulled all $32 million it promised for a fund that aims to help small businesses in southeastern Michigan communities, a partner in the project said Tuesday.

Wafa Dinaro, executive director of the New Economy Initiative, the philanthropic group that supports entrepreneurship and is a project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, said she received notice Oct. 24 that Wayne County was canceling the partnership and all funding for the Wayne County Small Business Hub fund, which would have helped small business owners in such cities as Inkster, River Rouge, Ecorse and Romulus.

The partnership was announced by Dinaro and Wayne County Executive Warren Evans in June during the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference. The fund started as a $54 million investment that also included matches from several private partners. It now stands at $22 million.

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