Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to announce that five communities around Michigan have been awarded a total of $100,000 in grants to support the downtown enhancement and improvement projects. Communities receiving grants are Lansing, Owosso, Grayling, Blissfield, and Three Rivers.
“Thriving, attractive downtowns are vital to creating unique places where people want to live, work, visit and play,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “With today’s grants, these communities are taking important steps toward strengthening their core commercial districts and driving economic growth in the community. As we jumpstart our economy and begin a quintessential Michigan summer, I am excited for vibrant downtown areas to be full of life once again.”
The Main Street Vibrancy Grant Program is intended to provide grants of $20,000 to Select or Master level Michigan Main Street communities for projects that enhance the vibrancy and economic vitality of Michigan Main Street downtowns. Projects could include pop-up shop programs, implementation of a marketing or advertising campaign, physical improvements such as new seating, seasonal infrastructure, signage, or art, and other transformative projects that help create a sense of place and a more vibrant community.
2021 Main Street Vibrancy Grant Winners
|Applicant Entity||Project Description||Amount Requested|
|Grayling Downtown Development Authority||Downtown clock, outdoor seating, sanitation stations, crosswalk art, wayfinding||$20,000|
|Blissfield Downtown Development Authority||Mini-park revitalization and gazebo for food truck park, art events, outdoor space activation||$20,000|
|Owosso Downtown Development Authority||Streetscape – flower beds, benches, bike racks||$20,000|
|Downtown Lansing Inc.||Business incubator space||$20,000|
|Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority||Downtown in bloom – public art upgrades to murals and art inspired banners, lighting, bistro seating, outdoor games (chess and ping pong tables)||$20,000|
“These communities have all worked diligently to enhance the sense of place and vibrancy in their downtowns, engage residents and businesses, and drive economic growth,” saidMichelle Parkkonen, Director of Community Development Technical Assistance Programs at the MEDC. “Today’s Vibrancy grants will help further strengthen the downtowns and commercial districts in these communities, helping their businesses grow while also building unique places that are attractive to residents and visitors.”
Locally in the Southwest Michigan, the City of Three Rivers looks forward to what the grant means for its community. “We are thrilled to be a recipient of the Main Street Vibrancy Grant. This grant will allow us to accomplish great things in our Downtown as we anticipate a continued surge in foot traffic and new visitors with the announcement of our newly designated Social District called ‘Main Street Commons,’ said Three Rivers Main Street Executive Director Tricia Meyer. “We are a small community with big dreams and limited resources and this funding will enable us to further transform our charming Downtown into a vibrant place to explore.”
Over the past year, Michigan Main Street communities generated more than $13 million in private investment, 87 new businesses, and 149 façade and building improvements. Since its inception in 2003, the Michigan Main Street has been a catalyst for job growth, private investment, and community engagement. From 2003 through 2018, 1,495 new businesses have been launched, with a total public investment of over $115 million and a total private investment of $319 million. In addition, more than 773,507 volunteer hours recorded by Michigan Main Street communities in revitalizing downtowns across the state.