Monday, July 25, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Gains Access to $200,000 in Technical Assistance, Training
State officials joined the leaders and citizens of Midland 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.
"Strong, vibrant cities are critical to the economic health of Michigan," Granholm said. "This training will help Midland bring jobs and investment to the heart of downtown."
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 long-term design concepts, marketing, community cooperation and organization, and strengthening and expanding the existing economic base in order to capitalize on new business opportunities.
The competitive application process began in March, with 10 communities submitting letters of intent. These were narrowed down to 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. Grand Haven, Howell and Ishpeming also received the designation.
"Main Street is an excellent tool for helping communities to really take charge of their downtown revitalization efforts at the hands-on, grass-roots level," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "Midland's leaders are to be commended for their dedication to the city and the future of its citizens."
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.