Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
20 New Jobs in Berrien County Expected
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced a $360,000 grant for public streetscape improvements to promote downtown redevelopment in Three Oaks. Four businesses are expected to invest a total of $705,000 to rehabilitate downtown buildings and create 20 new jobs as a result of the improvements.
"Three Oaks is a model for the type of redevelopment that we would like to see in communities statewide," Granholm said. "These streetscape improvements will help bring more investment and more jobs to downtown Three Oaks."
Four businesses-Viola's Restaurant, the Three Oaks Masonic Lodge, Dawning Art and Rubbish Designs-plan to refurbish and redevelop existing downtown buildings along the improved section of the street. The village's downtown development authority will contribute an additional $341,556 and the County Road Commission $233,000 to support the project.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation 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.
"The economic success of our downtowns mirrors that of the entire state," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "Making central business districts more attractive through streetscape and other aesthetic improvements will draw more residents and businesses to those communities."
In her 2005 State of the State address, 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 53,000 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.