Why Coldwater encourages its downtown businesses to apply for next round of Match on Main grants

What’s happening: The City of Coldwater and its Downtown Development Authority has put out a call for its downtown businesses to apply for the statewide Match on Main grant program. Eligible businesses have through Sunday, Feb. 12, to apply for the program, which can net entrepreneurs up to $25,000 in reimbursement grants.

What it is: The Match on Main grants are available to those communities accepted into the Main Street program and those that have been certified as a Redevelopment Ready Community through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Businesses must have a physical location in the community’s downtown, offer face-to-face goods or services, and able to provide a minimum of 10 percent match of funds. Projects can include building renovations, outdoor space activations, and more.

Why it’s important: “The Match on Main program is special because it provides direct cash support to businesses for projects that help them grow, become more efficient, and even start up in their local downtown,” says Audrey Tappenden, Economic Development Coordinator and Main Street Director for the City of Coldwater. “Match on Main allows businesses to access funds for projects that are most impactful for the business itself across a broad range of categories. Tech improvements, purchasing retail inventory, activating outdoor space, and securing architectural services are among the list of eligible expenses.”

Demonstrated track record: Coldwater has successfully shepherded two of its businesses through the grant program, with El Taco Loco receiving $18,000 for architectural services for an expansion project and Shemel’s Carpet & Interiors receiving $9,000 for technology upgrades.

How to apply: Businesses must apply for the grants through their local DDA or other official entity. In Coldwater, businesses can apply through the City’s website or contacting Audrey Tappenden directly at atappenden@coldwater.org or 517-279-6913.

“Applicants should quantify the impact of their project whenever possible, describe how the business can become more efficient, or demonstrate another effect that is specific to what the business needs,” Tappenden says. “Specificity is key.”

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