MEDC gives $491,835 to communities for small businesses

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced that 19 communities were awarded a total of $491,834 in grants to support small local businesses.

“Michigan’s unique downtowns are the heart of our communities, and with today’s Match on Main (MoM) grants, we are helping small businesses in both peninsulas by investing in bustling commercial districts for people to visit, shop, and dine in, attracting more talent and new investments,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.

“These grants will help our cities and towns continue to grow and thrive, building on our ongoing economic momentum. Currently, Michigan’s unemployment rate is 4.4% and we have experienced 11 straight months of job growth, adding 174,000 jobs year over year in March.”

Michigan still hasn’t recovered all the jobs it lost after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shuttered much of the economy, citing COVID-19 when the unemployment rate spiked to 22.7%.

David Zin, the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency’s chief economist, wrote that, between February 2020 and April 2020, Michigan’s unemployment declined by more than 1.2 million jobs – more than double the employment decline from December 2007.

As of May 2021, Zin said about 280,000 jobs haven’t returned. The Michigan unemployment rate in May 2021 was 5.0%, a level not reached after the 2008-09 recession until October 2015.

MEDC’s MoM program funds communities that are a select and master level community in the Michigan Main Street program or are a Certified Redevelopment Ready community. Communities that receive MEDC grant funding can award grants of up to $25,000 to eligible businesses. The grants are expected to create or retain 135 full-time jobs.

“Thriving small businesses are the cornerstone of what makes Michigan’s downtowns unique and authentic while helping to create economic opportunity across the state,” MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman said in a statement. “With the support of the Match on Main program, we can help local businesses grow and create jobs, while further developing vibrant and attractive places where people want to live, work, visit and play.”

Businesses can spend grant money on technical assistance, interior building renovations, permanent or semi-permanent outdoor space and infrastructure related to COVID-19 recovery efforts, and other needs such as marketing and inventory expenses.

The Southwest Detroit Business Association (SDBA) was awarded $25,000 to buy equipment for Elda’s restaurant.

“Collaboration with local partners within our community is very important to us. Our family has lived and worked in Southwest Detroit for generations. Detroit is home, and with all of the renewed interest in the area we are excited about the potential,” Elda’s owners Emilio Feliciano and Elda Castellanos said in a statement. “Without the help from Match on Main, our business wouldn’t be possible.”

April 2022 MoM grant winner names and funding amounts are:

  • City of Marquette Peace Pie Company, LLC: $25,000.
  • City of Houghton Keweenaw Coffee Works, LLC: $25,000.
  • City of Cadillac Delightful Investments, LLC: $25,000.
  • Traverse City Northern Blooms Montessori: $25,000.
  • Village of Roscommon Gardners Jewelry: $25,000.
  • City of Alpena J&J Enterprise Inc: $25,000.
  • Grand Haven Main Street Lucy’s Market, Inc: $25,000.
  • City of Hart Lakeside Rehab Family Fitness & Wellness: $25,000.
  • City of Saginaw – DDA READ Association of Saginaw County: $25,000.
  • City of Mt. Pleasant: Pure Vitality Juice Bar: $25,000.
  • City of Laingsburg Fulford Investments/ Bonnie Lucille Hair Studio: $24,534.
  • City of Owosso Aviator Jayne, LLC: $25,000.
  • Old Town Commercial Association Lansing Elderly Instruments, Inc.: $24,300.
  • Downtown Lansing Inc. A Novel Concept LLC: $25,000.
  • Three Rivers Useless Creatures, LLC: $25,000.
  • Coldwater El Taco Loco Mexican Taqueria: $18,000.
  • Howell Uptown Coffeehouse Inc.: $25,000.
  • City of Tecumseh Tecumseh Bread and Pastry: $25,000.
  • Dearborn – West Dearborn DDA Trio Restaurant Group LLC: $25,000.
  • Southwest Detroit Business Association Elda’s LLC: $25,000.

Michigan’s small businesses employ more than 1.8 million people.

This article was originally posted on MEDC gives $491,835 to communities for small businesses

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