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LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced thirty-five communities around Michigan have been awarded a total of $807,673 in grants aimed at supporting small local businesses to create resiliency and strengthen downtowns under the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Match on Main grant program.
“Michigan’s small businesses and traditional downtowns are the heart of our communities, and with today’s Match on Main grants, we are helping small businesses in both peninsulas grow while further developing unique and inviting places that attract talent and new investment,” said Governor Whitmer. “These grants will help our vibrant downtowns continue to thrive in all corners of the state.”
MEDC’s Match on Main program provides funding to communities that participate as a select and master level community in the Michigan Main Street program or are considered an Essentials or Certified Redevelopment Ready Community. The communities, who receive the grant funding from the MEDC, in turn award grants of up to $25,000 to eligible businesses seeking support.
The grants are expected to create or retain 296 full-time jobs, and the projects are expected to generate a total private investment of more than $2.7 million. Of the 35 grant recipients, 26 are existing and nine are new business. Eight of the 35 communities are first-time recipients of the Match on Main grants.
“Thriving small businesses are the cornerstone of what makes Michigan’s downtowns unique and authentic while helping to create economic opportunity across the state,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Small Business Services Amy Rencher. “With the support of the Match on Main program, we can help local businesses grow and create jobs, while further developing vibrant and attractive places where people want to live, work, visit and play.”
Grants may be used by the business for eligible expenses that support technical assistance, interior building renovations, permanent or semi-permanent activation of an outdoor space, permanent or semi-permanent business infrastructure related to COVID-19 recovery efforts, and other working capital needs such as marketing needs and inventory expenses. Additional needs identified by the business and supported by the local community are also considered.
The Lapeer Downtown Development Authority awarded a $25,000 Match on Main grant to Hernandez Mexican Food, a food stand has been operating in the community since 1969. Hernandez Mexican Food is renovating a former office building in downtown Lapeer into a vibrant new food takeout experience. This includes updating the plumbing, electrical and all other utilities that are necessary to be compliant with current health and building regulations.
“Thanks to the Match on Main grant, we are able to create the family-owned, brick-and-mortar restaurant we’ve always dreamed of,” said Hernandez Mexican Food owner Deanna Hernandez-Schlaud. “The funds will give us the added flexibility to put more money back into the space and community. We would like to thank all of our loyal customers over the years who have supported us. Without their support and encouragement, we may never have taken this step.”
In Clare, the Middle Michigan Development Corporation is awarding a $25,000 grant to McEwan Street Fudge and Ice Cream Shop, who will use the funds to purchase display and fudge/gelato making equipment. Adding an iconic northern Michigan staple like freshly made fudge will be another welcome addition to travelers’ destination spots and will further strengthen the overall brand of downtown Clare, according to Middle Michigan Development Corporation Director of Business Services and Economic Development for Clare County Sarah Adkins.
“MMDC feels that McEwan Street Fudge and Ice Cream will exceptionally complement the offerings and atmosphere of downtown Clare,” Adkins said. “This business adds something novel to the downtown, caters to both locals and visitors, and expands on the ‘made-in-Clare’ entrepreneurialism represented by other downtown businesses like Four Leaf Brewing and Cops & Doughnuts.”
December 2022 Match on Main grant winners:
In April 2022, MEDC announced that 19 communities around Michigan were awarded a total of $491,834 in grants aimed at supporting small local businesses to create resiliency and strengthen downtowns around Michigan. A total of 20 small businesses around Michigan received assistance through the program.
Michigan’s small businesses are a vital part of the state’s economy, employing more than 1.8 million people. Helping businesses to open and grow is a key focus of MEDC, and the Match on Main Street program is one of MEDC’s tools that provides opportunities for new and expanding businesses located in Main Street districts to grow and succeed. For more information on the program, visit here. To learn more about MEDC’s services for Michigan businesses, visit here.
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 www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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