Thursday, September 29, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Grant to Fund County-Wide Market Study
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced an $18,750 grant to Branch County for a comprehensive market study to promote economic development county-wide. The MEDC is making the grant available with funds provided by the federal Community Development Block Grant program.
"This study will help local leaders collaborate and determine the best direction for future economic growth," MEDC President and CEO James Epolito said. "When implemented, it will be a great tool for attracting jobs and company investments to Branch County."
The county will conduct a planning study to develop an effective market analysis of the area's commercial and industrial sectors, including an assessment of the current and potential availability of office, retail, service and industrial space. The county and the communities of Quincy, Bronson and Coldwater will contribute an additional $16,250 toward the project.
The MEDC administers the state's Community Development Block Grant funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds are used to provide grants and loans to eligible counties, cities, villages and townships-typically those with populations less than 50,000-for economic development, community development and housing projects. Larger communities receive block grant funds directly from the federal government.
The MEDC is able to award approximately $50 million in federal CDBG funds each year. There are 1,655 local governments within the state eligible to apply for these funds. Projects are approved contingent upon compliance with state and federal requirements.
In her 2005 State of the State address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Since January 2005 the Governor and the MEDC announced the creation or retention of more than 61,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
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.