Small Business Straightaway Returns to the 2024 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear

Source: Event PR


Applications Now Being Accepted Through April 28

DETROIT, Mich. (April 3, 2024) – Building on its groundbreaking efforts to engage with locally-owned and operated business across the city of Detroit last summer in its return to the downtown streets of the Motor City, the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear today announced the return of the Small Business Straightaway in 2024. Featuring a new location in its second consecutive year as an important element of the Grand Prix, the Small Business Straightaway will highlight more than 20 locally-owned business from across Detroit on Saturday and Sunday of race weekend, June 1-2.

With support from Grand Prix Community Partners American Axle & Manufacturing, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Delta Air Lines, Delta Dental, DTE Foundation, Henry Ford Health, Huntington Bank, Lear Corporation and PNC Bank, the Small Business Straightaway creates opportunities for neighborhoods and businesses in all areas of the city to reap the benefits from one of Detroit’s most popular summertime festivals.

Reimagined in its new home in Campus Martius Park in 2024, the Small Business Straightaway will once again feature an eclectic display of local merchants, from startups to well-established companies. The unique collection of commerce will showcase locally-owned businesses, particularly those owned by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals, as well as women-owned enterprises, from the seven districts in Detroit. Businesses that are interested in being a part of the Grand Prix’s Small Business Straightaway can apply online at Small Business Straightaway 2024.

“One of the sentiments we consistently heard from business owners across Detroit when we presented the idea of bringing the Grand Prix back downtown was that local merchants wanted the opportunity to be a part of the event,” said Michael Montri, president of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. “We were so excited to make that a reality last summer in the first Grand Prix on the Streets of Detroit in more than 30 years. We saw Grand Prix guests experience some of the most creative and unique businesses from across the city in the Small Business Straightaway. Thanks to the continued support of our Community Partners, we can’t wait to make that connection again and create opportunities for more locally-owned businesses to shine and benefit from a huge weekend of commerce in Detroit.”

Last summer’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear attracted an estimated crowd of approximately 150,000 people during the three-day motorsports festival in the heart of the Motor City. The first Grand Prix hosted in Detroit since 1991 turbocharged the local economy as an independent study revealed that the event generated a record-breaking $104.4 million in total spending for the Greater Detroit region encompassing Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

As the Grand Prix looks to build on that success in 2024, the Small Business Straightaway will be featured in the event’s new activation area down Woodward Avenue, just north of the racing circuit along Jefferson Avenue. Fans will be able to watch the on-track action on large video boards in Cadillac Square while a new collection of businesses will have a chance to sell their products and highlight their services in the Small Business Straightaway inside Campus Martius Park. 

Adding to this summer’s Small Business Straightaway experience, the Grand Prix will partner with the Michigan Black Business Alliance (MBBA) to improve financial stability and well-being in Detroit’s small business community. The MBBA is dedicated to promoting the growth and prosperity of Black-owned enterprises. Through the support of the Grand Prix and its partners, the MBBA will help increase Minority Business Enterprise and Women Business Enterprise certifications, build educational programs and identify opportunities to work with major retailers.

The Grand Prix is actively fielding requests from local companies to participate in this year’s Small Business Straightaway. In May, more than 20 Detroit-based organizations, representing the four business corridors across the city, will be selected from all qualified applicants using a points system. Additional weight in selection will be awarded to minority and woman-owned businesses, as well as businesses focused on sustainability initiatives.

Participation in the Small Business Straightaway is inclusive of all races and ethnicities, with all small enterprises located in the city qualified to submit applications. To apply and for more information, interested companies should visit Small Business Straightaway 2024. The deadline for applications is April 28. 

The 34th Grand Prix event in the City’s history will return to the 1.7-mile, nine-turn Streets of Downtown Detroit circuit that runs along the award-winning Detroit Riverwalk, May 31-June 2, 2024. With new viewing options and entertainment packages, fans can purchase tickets at or through the event’s Ticket Hotline at 866-464-PRIX (7749).