Michigan Governor: $1.6 Million for Small Business

Michigan Governor: $1.6 Million for Small Business

Part of the $300 million commitment by the Department of Commerce to coal communities

LANSING (STL.News), Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a $1.6 million grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support the Downriver Riverfront Communities Economic Recovery Implementation Project. The $300 million Coal Communities Commitment of the EDA funds this grant.

Governor Whitmer stated that the economic development grant would help the Downriver community to redevelop two coal-plant sites and create a program to support small businesses. “I am grateful to the Economic Development Administration for this partnership. I will work with anyone who wants to grow Michigan’s economy, create high-paying jobs, and invest in every part of our state. We will continue to make investments to ensure that workers are not left behind in any economic transitions we face.

“Global climate change impacts our communities in many ways. As we move to cleaner energy sources, it is important that we consider the impact on communities that have historically relied on coal,” stated Debbie Dingell (MI-12). We look to the future and want to ensure that the locations of existing plants are safely cleaned up and restored to protect the environment and residents. This will also help diversify local businesses and maintain a robust economic foundation. The funding will support these efforts, and the Downriver Community Conference’s work will positively affect the local economy and quality of life. This grant will allow us to protect and strengthen the Downriver communities.

Michigan Development Grant was a significant win for Downriver. It is a historic investment that will allow us to redevelop waterfront sites, create jobs locally, strengthen our small businesses, and work towards a more sustainable economy. I am proud to have worked with the Downriver Community Conference, the Economic Development Administration, and others to make the most of our waterfront and reimagine Downriver’s future.

State Representative Tullio Liberati (D-Allen Park) stated that the grant would provide extraordinary opportunities for our impacted communities, including new jobs and expansion. While many communities that rely on coal are recovering from the economic downturn, the Downriver Community Conference was allowed to strengthen the foundation of our community and diversify the local economy. These funds will allow us to transform old sites into vibrant new business opportunities as we move away from coal as an energy source. This will ensure a brighter future for our community and ourselves. We could not be more thankful.”

President James Slevin of the Utility Workers Union of America stated, “The UWUA had advocated for investment into these communities since 2015.” “We are grateful to Governor Whitmer’s leadership in this matter. We are confident that this money will be used to create good, family-supporting job opportunities and continue the long-term economic recovery of Southeast Michigan.

EDA Investment Background

After years of dependence on coal, the program provides resources to communities in economic transition. This program offers new opportunities for impacted workers and communities by investing in resources to diversify their economies, ensuring that local governments have the resources they need to continue providing vital services such as public school and public safety, and helping workers transition into better-paying jobs.

The Downriver community will benefit from the investment, allowing them to redevelop two coal-fired power plants and create a small business program to diversify their local economy. Local funds will match the federal investment by $401,514

Energy Transition Impact Project (ETIP) Background

Communities hosting energy facilities face significant challenges, including a reduced tax base, loss of employment, and reduced services, as the industry closes old coal plants. The Energy Transition Impact Project (ETIP), created by Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Treasury, is designed to assist communities in preparing for the inevitable. ETIP has helped communities obtain federal and state resources to help them develop strategies that offset the industry’s decision to close large energy plants.

By Mia

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