Thursday, February 03, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Market Study Will Help City Chart Economic Course
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced $30,000 in community funding has been awarded to the city of Clare to support economic development planning and marketing activities. The city will use the grant for a downtown market study to identify the current and future business features in the city's downtown. The results will help the city determine an action plan to increase year-round tourism.
"A long-term economic vision is vital to the well-being of any community," Granholm said. "This study will help Clare identify its unique strengths and develop a plan for its future growth."
The grant is being made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation with funds provided by the federal Community Development Block Grant Program.
"We are extremely proud and fortunate to receive funding for a market study," Jim Allen mayor pro tem and chair of the Clare Downtown Development Authority said. It will allow us to establish market-based priorities for our Main Street projects and activities and assist in determining the appeal of our downtown among various consumer segments. Economic development initiatives including quality of life are our priority goals and this study will assist in accomplishing them."
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.
"These planning studies help communities make the most of their assets," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "The results will help Clare address challenges and find ways to continue building itself as a tourist destination that will create year-round jobs."
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.