©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Two Cass County Communities Receive $25,000 to Improve Their Downtowns

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Mike Shore, MEDC
(517) 335-4590

Dowagiac and Marcellus to Conduct Economic Development Studies

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced two grants totaling $25,000 to support economic development planning and marketing activities to revitalize the downtowns of Dowagiac and Marcellus.

"This funding will help Dowagiac and Marcellus develop their downtowns and create new housing, employment and recreational opportunities," Granholm said. "These grants will enable the communities to build on their unique qualities to create a stronger local economy."

The grant is being made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation with funds provided by the federal Community Development Block Grant program.

The city of Dowagiac will use a $10,000 grant to perform a downtown market study that will help the city successfully market the central business district. The city will contribute an additional $10,000 to finance the study.

A $15,000 grant will help the village of Marcellus conduct a planning study for the community's downtown. The goal of the study is to provide direction for continued redevelopment efforts aimed at bringing additional investment and jobs to the downtown.

"Planning studies like these are a great tool for communities desiring to spotlight their assets, address challenges and find a logical development direction," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "Dynamic downtowns are not only essential to local economic development but central to the high quality of life we strive to attain throughout the state."

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.

In her 2004 State of the State address, Governor Granholm announced her plan to make Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. In 2004 the Governor and the MEDC announced the creation or retention of more than 54,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC. Overall, during 2004, the Governor announced the creation or retention of some 130,000 jobs by all state agencies.

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.