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MEDC awards grant in Soo

SAULT STE. MARIE– The Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Development Authority received a $25,000 grant for the Soo Locks Candy Shop through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Match on Main program. Sault Ste. Marie is one of 17 communities in the state that were awarded funds through the program.

The MEDC awarded a total of $500,743 in grants aimed at supporting small local businesses to create resiliency and strengthen downtowns, MEDC officials announced Tuesday. Grant awards ranged from $12,250 to $25,000, with 16 of the grants being awarded to Lower Peninsula municipalities, according to data provided by the MEDC.

“Thriving small businesses are the cornerstone of what makes Michigan’s downtowns unique and authentic while helping to create economic opportunity across the state,” MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman said in the announcement. “These Match on Main grants will help local businesses find new paths to growth and create and retain jobs, while further developing vibrant, unique, and attractive places where people want to live, work, and play.”

MEDC’s Match on Main program provides funding to communities that participate as a select and master level community in the Michigan Main Street program or are a Certified Redevelopment Ready community. The communities, who receive the grant funding from the MEDC, in turn award grants of up to $25,000 to eligible businesses seeking support, according to the announcement. The grants are expected to create or retain 69 full-time and 71 part-time jobs, and the projects are expected to generate a total private investment of nearly $2 million, officials said. Grants may be used by the business for eligible expenses that support technical assistance, interior building renovations, permanent or semi-permanent activation of an outdoor space, permanent or semi-permanent business infrastructure related to COVID-19 recovery efforts, and other working capital needs such as marketing needs and inventory expenses, according to the announcement. Additional needs identified by the business and supported by the local community are also considered.

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