Marquette-area small businesses receive grants
MARQUETTE — Marquette is one of 22 Michigan communities that have been awarded a total of $993,984 in grants aimed at supporting COVID-19 recovery efforts of local small businesses, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.
The grants are given through an expansion of the MEDC’s Match on Main program, with 299 small businesses in the state receiving assistance.
“Michigan’s small businesses and traditional downtowns are the heart of our communities, and by providing communities with resources to engage in economic recovery efforts we can help ensure our downtowns not only recover, but thrive,” said MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton in a news release. “The Match on Main grants will help Michigan’s downtown businesses recover from the loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 virus and support workers they employ in these communities.”
Marquette businesses awarded funding are: Beth Millner Jewelry, $4,000; Boomerang Retro & Relics, $4,000; Cafe Bodega, $4,500; the Gathered Earth, $2,850; Loyaltees, $3,500; Marquette Baking Co., $2,500; Marquette Wallpaper & Paint, $3,000; Northern Lights Glass, $2,000; Panara Imports, $2,850; Portside Inn, $3,500; Revisions, $3,750; Sacred Tattoo, $3,750; Taiga Games, $2,000; Velodrome Coffee Company, $3,500; and Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers, $4,300.
The funds amount to $50,000, with 115 jobs retained.
In the Upper Peninsula, Main Street Calumet has been awarded $50,000 to help nine businesses while the Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Development Authority will receive $50,000 to help 25 businesses.
The MEDC announced in May that its existing Match on Main program was being expanded to provide access to more communities and refocusing resources on recovery efforts of existing businesses instead of helping open new ones.
Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, on Monday issued an order requiring regular testing and timely and accurate reporting of cases, deaths, personal protective equipment and staffing shortages to help protect residents and staff at nursing facilities from COVID-19.
The order requires facilities to conduct the following COVID-19 testing for residents and staff:
≤ Initial testing.
≤ Testing of all new or returning residents during intake unless tested within 72 hours of intake.
≤ Testing of any resident or staff member with symptoms or expected exposure.
≤ Weekly testing of all previously negative residents and staff in facilities with any positive cases among residents or staff until 14 days after the last new positive result.
≤ Weekly testing of staff in regions of medium or higher risk on the MI Safe Start Map. The Upper Peninsula is considered low risk.
≤ Testing of all staff in Regions 1 through 5 and 7 at least once between the date of this order and July 3.
Nursing facilities are required to submit plans for testing by Monday and to implement those plans by June 29. Facility staff not permitted to come to work because they tested positive for COVID-19 are eligible for unemployment benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.
Local beaches reopening
Shea Kinder, head lifeguard for the city of Marquette, said lifeguards have begun their normal operating hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at McCarty’s Cove for the summer season.
At this time Tourist Park, Clark Lambros’ Beach Park and South Beach will remain unguarded.
UPPCO reopening campgrounds
The Upper Peninsula Power Company announced the reopening of its campground facilities at Bond Falls, Prickett and Boney Falls. These campground facilities will be available for recreational use by the public beginning Wednesday.
“UPPCO’s top priority continues to be the health and safety of its customers, employees, and the communities we serve,” said Brett French, UPPCO’s vice president of business development and communications, in a news release. “In support of that priority, we encourage campers to practice social distancing — which is still recommended by state and national health agencies — and to keep to their campsite with immediate family.”
All campsites will be open and the facilities will not have any restrictions for capacity. Because of this, UPPCO is urging caution.
“UPPCO reminds outdoor enthusiasts to use common sense and be considerate of others when using the recreational facilities,” French said. “Be safe and stay healthy while using the public recreation areas.”
The boat launches, day-use and fishing areas located around UPPCO’s hydroelectric facilities also will open for public recreational use. UPPCO is asks everyone who comes for the day or longer to respect all guidelines.
Mine, smelter reopen for tours
The historic Quincy Mine officially began offering tours on Monday, with the Quincy Smelter starting to offer tours today. The two attractions are located just north of Houghton.
According to Glenda Bierman, manager of the Quincy Mine Hoist Association, the tour format at Quincy will differ this year as staff respond to required coronavirus safety procedures and recommended best practices.
Touring groups will have fewer participants per group to ensure safe social distancing. The cogwheel tram is not in operation this year, so visitors must drive to an alternate entrance to get to the East Adit entrance.
Mine tours must be booked in advance. Reservations can be made by calling 906-482-5569. Smelter tours are available at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. No reservations are needed at the smelter.
Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is email@example.com.