Village of North Branch receives certification as Redevelopment Ready Community

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Designation facilitates private investment, improves economic development opportunities

LANSING, Mich. – For their efforts in establishing a solid foundation to attract private investment and further build on municipality assets, the village of North Branch has been awarded the Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) certification, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced today. The village is the first community in Michigan’s Thumb region and the smallest community in Michigan to obtain certification.

North Branch joins 44 other Michigan communities in all corners of the state that have qualified as “thoroughly prepared” when it comes to planning and zoning to remove traditional barriers and promote opportunities for prospective investors. Visit here to see the entire list of Redevelopment Ready Communities.

“The RRC certification program has been enlightening for our small and rural community,” said Village President M. Kelly Martin. “We believe that this puts us in a position to ‘fight above our weight class’ as we compete for resources and market our community to the world.”

As an RRC participant, the village of North Branch received a comprehensive assessment that measured current community and economic development practices compared to RRC Best Practice standards. The program evaluates and certifies communities that integrate transparency, predictability and efficiency into their economic development practices. Certification status is a compelling indicator that a community has removed development barriers and streamlined processes to be more competitive and attractive to investors.

“Our mission at MEDC is to support Michigan’s strong economic momentum and encourage communities to establish strong planning, zoning and economic development foundations,” said MEDC Senior Vice President Michele Wildman. “North Branch is well-positioned to continue to implement their vision for the future and further improve the quality of life for its residents. We look forward to continuing to support local economic development efforts while building upon our relationship with the village.”

To reach certification, the village of North Branch undertook several notable projects, including the village’s first-ever marketing and branding plan, a strategic economic development plan which builds on its existing strengths as a close-knit small town, amendments to its master plan, creation of a formal capital improvements plan, and updates to its zoning ordinance which provide additional predictability to the process while also proactively addressing emerging development trends. Interested individuals can visit the village’s website at to see more details on the village’s plans and how to invest.

“I was very proud to hear that North Branch is the first community in the Thumb Region to achieve certification and the smallest community in the state,” said Village Clerk Betty Kennedy, who spearheaded much of the work to obtain certification. “I’m excited to see how this process will help our community prosper.”

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.