Mt. Pleasant introduces rental subsidy program to support new and growing businesses downtown

The City of Mt. Pleasant recently launched a new rental subsidy program designed to support new retail, dining , arts, and entertainment businesses downtown. Up to two businesses per year will be accepted for the new Make It Mt. Pleasant program.

Michelle Sponseller, Downtown Development Director, says the program was inspired by a desire to accomplish two things – find a way to help fill vacant storefronts downtown, and help grow local entrepreneurs.

“We hope to position downtown Mt. Pleasant as the destination for entrepreneurs in Isabella County and, by extension, the Great Lakes Bay Region,” says Sponseller. “Not only do we have the beauty and charm of a historic downtown but we have a variety of programs that can assist both property owners and businesses owners and a location just a few blocks from Central Michigan University.”

Selected applicants of the Make It Mt. Pleasant program will receive 12 months of rental assistance, not to exceed $4,200.00, as well as a City fees and charges waiver not to exceed $2,500.00. The City fees and charges waiver includes costs associated with building, sign, outdoor merchandising, and outdoor dining permits. The program is fully funded by Lake Trust Credit Union.

“Lake Trust Credit Union is committed to being an engine of community well-being. By funding the Make It Mt. Pleasant program we are providing pathways to entrepreneurship and fostering economic development. Supporting a thriving downtown delivers value and drives economic impact in Mt. Pleasant,” says David Snodgrass, President and CEO of Lake Trust Credit Union. “This program creates an important bridge for business owners toward long-term success.

Sponseller says the funds provided by this program can play a significant role in its overall trajectory of new businesses. While the program is aimed at new businesses, she adds that existing businesses can apply if they are expanding their offerings and square footage.

Applications will be accepted until two businesses are selected, at which point applications will be rolled over to 2021. Interested parties must schedule a pre-application meeting with City staff prior to submitting an application. To do so, contact Michelle Sponseller at (989) 779-5348 or To download a copy of the Make it Mt. Pleasant guidelines and application visit:

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