Thursday, July 28, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Gains Access to $200,000 in Technical Assistance, Training
State officials joined the leaders and citizens of Grand Haven to celebrate the city's Cool Cities Main Street designation announced by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. The award, one of just four given statewide, will give the city access to $200,000 in technical assistance and training as part of a long-term management approach to revitalizing and maintaining a successful downtown. The program is implemented through a partnership between the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
"Creating cool cities is essential to Michigan's ability to attract people to our core communities, in addition to creating new jobs and investments," Granholm said. "This is an excellent opportunity for Grand Haven to create a plan for future downtown development that will be a catalyst for growth far into the 21st century."
This is the third year that the MEDC has administered the intensive training program modeled on the four-step approach developed by the Main Street National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington D.C.
The Main Street approach encompasses promoting long-term design concepts, marketing, community cooperation and organization, and encouraging economic restructuring to strengthen and expand the existing economic base to capitalize on new business opportunities.
"Main Street will help Grand Haven revitalize its historic assets to create a unique destination to live in, do business in and visit on a year round basis," Main Street DDA Director Bridgit Hassig said.
The competitive application process began in March with 10 communities submitting letters of intent. These were narrowed down to the seven finalists, who were then invited to present formal applications to a team of officials from 12 state and local development organizations. All finalist communities were judged to have highly meritorious proposals and were designated as this year's Main Street communities. Howell, Ishpeming and Midland also received the designation.
"Main Street has been a phenomenally successful program throughout the country," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "This is an excellent opportunity for Grand Haven to take advantage of this proven training."
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.