The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), in partnership with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and the Michigan Municipal League (MML), recently launched a new competitive grant program.Known as Blueprints for Michigan’s Downtowns, the program is designed to assist downtown leaders with formulating a comprehensive action plan to address economic development challenges and encourage downtown economic growth.
“The success of Michigan’s downtowns directly relates to the economic success of the entire state,” said Sabrina Keeley, acting CEO of the MEDC.“Through our new partnership, we can promote the smart growth of downtowns and secure the economic future of our communities.“
Through a competitive application process, 10 communities will be chosen to receive funding to work with the MEDC and HyettPalma, a national downtown consulting firm, to formulate a downtown economic development action agenda.The MEDC and MSHDA have committed a total of $200,000 to fund the project.
The formulation of the action agenda will entail assisting the community with defining a long term economic development vision, conducting a market analysis to determine the potential of the downtown area, formulating a definitive course of action and encouraging the formation of a public/private management team to implement the action plan.The term of work for formulating the action plan will take approximately five months.The implementation of the plan is estimated at five years.
Applications are due to the MEDC on April 25, 2003. MEDC and MSHDA staff members will evaluate the applications, with assistance from the MML.The selected downtown communities will be announced in late May.
Communities interested in submitting an application should contact Bob Trezise, managing director of the MEDC’s Community Assistance Team at 517-335-7258.
“Over the past two years, MSHDA and MEDC have developed a very effective working relationship, and we are proud to collaborate with MEDC on Blueprints for Michigan Downtowns,” said MSHDA Executive Director James L. Logue III.“This partnership will go a long way in helping develop and revitalize traditional downtowns and commercial centers.”
Dan Gilmartin, deputy director of the MML agreed.“We are really pleased to be part of the Blueprints program,” said Gilmartin.“Through this partnership we can pool our knowledge to more effectively help downtowns face challenges and meet development goals.”
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.