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Downtown Businesses Across Middle Michigan Communities Encouraged to Apply for Match on Main Funding Program

by Kati Mora on January 30, 2023

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) recently announced that businesses located in Michigan Main Street districts or certified Redevelopment Ready Communities® across the state can receive up to $25,000 in reimbursable grant dollars through another round of the Match on Main program. In Middle Michigan, Clare, Gladwin, Harrison, Mt. Pleasant and Evart are considered eligible communities. 

If you are a business located in downtown Harrison, downtown Gladwin, in the City of Clare's DDA District, the Mt. Pleasant's Central Business District, or the Evart Main Street District, we encourage you to apply for the Match on Main program by submitting your business worksheet through the link below. 

Interested Businesses in Clare, Harrison, Mt. Pleasant or Evart Must Submit Their Business Worksheet to Middle Michigan Development Corporation by February 3rd, 2023. 

Complete Business worksheet

Eligible Businesses: 
• Those that sell products and/or services face to face AND have a physical location in a downtown, historic neighborhood commercial corridor, or area planned and zoned for concentrated commercial development that contributes to a dense mixed-use area with multi-story elements.
• Those that have, or intend to have, control over the site for which they are applying prior to Match on Main application. Please note: changes in the proposed business location after grant selection may result in grant being forfeited.
• Those operating as a for profit or non-profit. 
• Those headquartered in Michigan. 
• Those that have not received or been approved for an MEDC Match on Main grant within the last 36 months. 

Ineligible Businesses:
Businesses that are considered franchises (including independent contractor agreements), businesses located in strip malls (unless located in an area zoned and approved for future concentrated mixed-use development), “big box” retailers, businesses whose primary sales come from marijuana, CBD, or tobacco, and/or any other businesses deemed ineligible by the MEDC.

Eligible Fund Uses:
Funds may be used for the following purposes:

  •  Expenses for technical assistance items for design and layout of interior or exterior space, such as conceptual renderings of the interior or exterior floor plan, merchandise layout, other interior or exterior design concepts, and construction drawings, plans or specifications for interior or exterior space activation.
  • Expenses for interior building renovation items, including rehabilitation of floors, walls, ceiling, rooms, electrical improvements, lighting and lighting fixtures, furniture and display renovations, installation of permanent kitchen or other equipment, and/or fire suppression or other code
    compliance items.
  • Expenses for permanent or semi-permanent activation of an outdoor space, including a dining area, beer garden, or other place-based outdoor activation deemed acceptable by the MEDC. Exterior signage, doors and windows may be permitted as an eligible expense if part of a larger
    outdoor space activation project.
  • Expenses for permanent or semi-permanent business infrastructure related to COVID-19 recovery efforts such as items that promote the health and safety of employees and customers(examples include plexiglass barriers, curbside service windows, etc.).
  • Expenses for general marketing, technology to assist in connecting with customers (example: website upgrades or e-Commerce integration), operational changes (example: shifting from dine in to carry out), the purchase of a point-of-sale system, or inventory expenses for retail goods.

Ineligible Fund Uses:
Expenses that are not eligible include: exterior improvements that could be considered as general maintenance, repairs, landscaping, or other non-place-based outdoor activation, employee wages, salaries or benefits, rent, mortgage, land contract or building or land lease payments, utilities, leases for
equipment, vehicle leases, vehicle payments, taxes, interest or insurance, professional fees, federal, state, or local application, licensing, permit or similar fees, bank or other lender financing, interest, inspection fees or costs, credit card processing fees; non-infrastructure COVID-19 expenses, such as
disposable PPE, including masks or other face coverings, gloves, or hand sanitizer, property acquisition, projects on residential property, or any other capital expenditure (including soft costs) deemed ineligible at sole discretion of the MEDC.

Only eligible expenses incurred after the date the application opens may be considered for reimbursement under the Match on Main program. Any incurred expense prior to executed grant agreement is entirely at the sole risk of the Business.

Applications will be scored based on a variety of criteria including: 
Clarity and completeness of application, expected level of private investment made by the business, additional resources leveraged to support the project, overall impact of funding on the business, number of jobs created or retained as a result of the project and overall impact on community. 

Proposed Timeline of Approval Process: 
January 6th – February 2nd - market the opportunity to eligible businesses
February 3rd  – BUSINESS DEADLINE for Business Worksheet Submission to MMDC
 February 6th - February 10th Committee’s score and review applications; top scoring businesses are selected
February 13th - February 22nd – Finalize applications to the MEDC
February 23rd  – Final review of applications
February 24th – Deadline to submit applications and business selections to the MEDC
TBA - MEDC announces awardees 
TBA - Background check forms processed 
Grant agreements executed by April 2023

For full details on the MEDC Match on Main program, please visit the MEDC website. 

Tags: harrison, mt. pleasant, match on main, clare, evart

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