$5,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative
LANSING, Mich. –“The Breezeway,” a 26-mile business corridor that stretches from Atwood to Boyne Falls, will soon be activated through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Northern Lakes Economic Alliance announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $5,000 by October 10, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit: patronicity.com/greenlight.
“Creating stronger local entrepreneurs and business is a cornerstone of economic development,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for and serve as a partner in this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”
The crowdfunding campaign will fund the fourth year of GreenLight East Jordan, a business model competition that works to activate economic growth in Northwest Michigan. This campaign will support the growth of the central business district and fill vacancies along the breezeway by supporting the winners to open a brick-and-mortar location, improve their presence, or expand their current model. This campaign will provide funding for new businesses through various events throughout the business competition and beyond. The past four years have funded 11 winners and are working toward creating a full-service business district along the Breezeway.
“The GreenLight Committee is most appreciative and excited about this opportunity with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation,” said Mary Faculak, president and CEO of the East Jordan Area Chamber of Commerce and member of East Jordan GreenLight Committee. “This crowdfunding campaign will allow us to continue to fill the commercial vacancies along the Breezeway, ignite entrepreneurial spirit within our region, and demonstrate that East Jordan, Ellsworth, Atwood, and Boyne Falls are open for business.”
Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply athttps://patronicity.com/puremichigan.
“Encouraging and supporting local entrepreneurs is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “The GreenLight campaign has already established a good track record of bringing entrepreneurs to the Breezeway. This campaign will propel them toward their goal of a creating a vibrant business district.”
The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of August 2018, MEDC has provided $5,253,166 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 165 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $6.2 million raised from 31,534 individual donors.