LANSING, MI —
Gov. Rick Snyder has announced the selection of Charlotte, Lapeer and Sault Ste. Marie by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to take part in the Selected Level Michigan Main Street program.
As part of the Selected Level of Michigan Main Street, these three communities will receive five years of intensive technical assistance from MEDC with a focus on revitalization strategies designed to attract new residents, business investments, economic growth and job creation to their central business districts.
“I’m excited to see how these three communities will grow within the next five years,” Snyder said. “With the support of the Main Street program and the MEDC, I believe we can positively transform the downtowns in some smaller communities to ensure their place on Michigan's path toward our future.”
The Michigan Main Street aims to create communities distinguished by a “sense of place.” The rationale is based on a range of studies that show investing in creating a “sense of place” is an integral part of developing vibrant city centers and downtowns, thereby making the state economically stronger and culturally diverse
Charlotte, Lapeer and Sault Ste. Marie join 18 other communities already benefitting from a 5-year state commitment in the Main Street program. Those communities include Blissfield, Boyne City, Charlevoix, Grand Haven, Grayling, Hart, Howell, Lansing (Downtown), Lansing (Old Town), Milan, Niles, Otsego, Owosso, Portland, Saline, Three Rivers, Wayland and Wayne.
There are currently 35 communities participating in the Michigan Main Street at associate, select and master levels. Each level provides services based on a community’s commitment, from one to five years in the program.
“Developing downtowns is essential in building a tax base, raising property values and putting people to work,” said MEDC Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood. “Programs like Michigan Main Street provide downtown communities with the tools needed to create jobs, provide desirable places to live and build a sense of place for Michigan residents.”
Since its inception in 2003, the Michigan Main Street has been a catalyst for job growth, private investment and community engagement. From 2003 through 2016, 1,047 new businesses and 2,280 net new jobs were created. In addition, more than 556 thousand volunteer hours were recorded in the task of revitalizing downtowns across the state.