Guaranteed Income to Grow Ann Arbor

Pilot program to support your well-being, economic stability, or business

All applicants selected for the GIG A2 pilot program and research study have been contacted and participants have been finalized. If you are in need of immediate assistance, please contact Michigan 211.

Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others selling their own goods and services play an essential role in supporting the local economy and strengthening our community.


Guaranteed Income to Grow Ann Arbor (GIG A2) is a two-year guaranteed income program that provides monthly payments of $528 to 100 entrepreneurs with low or very low income to support their efforts. The income limit is defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, relative to Ann Arbor’s area median income.

This program might be for you if: 

  • You live in Ann Arbor and have an income at or below 225% of the federal poverty line. If you currently receive or are eligible for any type of public assistance (SNAP, TANF, Section 8, Pell Grants), you likely qualify.
  • You are an entrepreneur, owner of a formal or informal small business, independent contractor, provide paid services informally, or are a gig worker.
  • You want to be part of a national movement to better understand how no-strings-attached cash payments to people with low incomes impacts their economic stability and overall well-being.

How does the program work?

200 people will be randomly chosen to participate in GIG A2. 100 of those participants will receive monthly cash payments, starting in 2024. If you are one of the funded participants, you can use the money in whatever way you think is best – whether that means growing your business or scaling back so you can invest more time and energy into taking care of yourself or your family. The other 100 participants will not receive cash payments. If you are in either group, you will receive $50 each time you complete a survey as part of participating in a research study that adds to a growing movement of guaranteed income programs. 

Why is Ann Arbor piloting a guaranteed income program?

Guaranteed income is different from other programs in that there are no requirements that you spend the money a certain way. While programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) can only be used for food and housing vouchers can only be used for rent, guaranteed income payments give you the freedom to decide how to spend (or save) that cash. 

Ann Arbor City Council dedicated $1.6 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to this 24 month guaranteed income pilot, run in partnership with the University of Michigan. It is important to the project team that the guaranteed income program recognize and build on the ways people are already contributing to our community – like entrepreneurship and other economic activity. A guaranteed income may also help those who are doing work on the side in order to pay bills, giving them a cushion of support. 

The COVID-19 pandemic was especially challenging for many business owners, particularly those led by women and people of color, and created additional hardship for low-income households. Guaranteed Income to Grow Ann Arbor aims to offset structural inequities and help people recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, while taking a unique approach to a guaranteed income program that can inform similar efforts across the country.