The Michigan Economic Development Corporation received applications from 22 communities across the state to be a part of the Blueprints for Michigan Downtowns program. The new program makes funding available to communities to develop and launch a downtown economic development action plan to address development challenges and encourage further growth.
“Michigan’s communities are the heart of our state’s economy and we must make sure they have the best tools available to grow and thrive,” said Sabrina Keeley, acting CEO of the MEDC.“This is an excellent opportunity for communities to utilize the knowledge and expertise of a nationally known downtown development firm at an affordable cost.”
Through a competitive application process, ten communities will be chosen to work with the MEDC and the national downtown consulting firm, HyettPalma, to formulate a downtown economic development action agenda.Developing the agenda will entail conducting a detailed market analysis of each of the participating communities and determining their long-term economic assets and challenges.
The program was developed through a partnership made up of the MEDC, Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and the Michigan Municipal League (MML).The MEDC and MSHDA have committed a total of $200,000 to fund the project.Participants are required to match the amount of funding that is allocated for their community.
The following 22 communities have applied: Adrian, Allen Park, Baroda, Battle Creek, Brighton, Buchanan, Cheboygan, Davison, DeWitt, Fremont, Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Hartford, Howell, Iron Mountain, Jonesville, Middleville, Mt. Pleasant, Norway, Scottville, Watervliet/Coloma (joint application) and Wayland.The ten communities selected will be announced in early June
“The enthusiastic response to the Blueprints program from such a variety of towns in Michigan is very exciting,” said James L. Logue, executive director of MSHDA.“From village to city, downtowns in Michigan are showing that they are anxious to put their energy and resources toward revitalization, with the expert help of HyettPalma. MSHDA is pleased to be a partner in helping Michigan communities help themselves."
Dan Gilmartin, deputy director of the MML, added “It’s great to be a part of such a beneficial program that empowers communities to steer their future growth,” he said.“The results of these downtown action agendas will have a positive effect on these communities for years to come.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.