Small Businesses Score Big State Grants to Hire More Michiganders

Staff pour coffee at Velodrome Coffee Co. in Ispheming. (Velodrome Coffee Company via Facebook)

By Kyle Kaminski

April 12, 2023

Nearly 30 small businesses across Michigan received $25,000 grants through the state’s “Match on Main” grant program this year to help boost economic growth in dozens of communities. 

MICHIGAN—Gov. Gretchen Whitmer believes the strength of any Michigan city or town is often defined by the collective strength of the small businesses that call them home. So this week, the state is pitching in some serious cash to help several dozen local companies continue to grow.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced this week that 28 communities across Michigan have been awarded nearly $700,000 in grants aimed at supporting small local businesses, which in turn, are expected to help them to create more than 200 new jobs. 

“We are going to make communities across Michigan more attractive places for families to live and work, and for businesses to grow,” Whitmer said. “Let’s keep our foot on the accelerator as we grow our economy, support good-paying jobs, and build thriving towns across Michigan.”

Michigan’s “Match on Main” program offers state funding to dozens of communities defined as “redevelopment-ready” by state officials. Those selected to receive grant funding from the MEDC can then award economic development grants of up to $25,000 to local businesses.

The grants can then be used by the selected small business for a variety of needs—including renovations, and other operational expenses such as marketing needs or inventory expenses. 

In Rogers City, for example, the city awarded a $25,000 grant to L Rose Studio of Dance, which will use the cash to create a new dance studio downtown. Another $25,000 grant in Lansing will help Mr. Leslie’s Cheesecakes buy kitchen equipment, as well as open a new retail location. 

Here’s a quick overview of the other grant recipients and how they plan to use the money:

Bird’s Eye Outfitters in Sault Ste. Marie

Creation of a year-round dining area—plus new furniture, fixtures and equipment. 

Cibo Inc. in Houghton

Conversion of a vacant outdoor space into a vibrant outdoor dining area.

Velodrome Coffee in Marquette

Equipment and interior renovations to help the business move to another location.

Nisu Bakery & Cafe in Hancock

Conversion of a vacant outdoor space into a vibrant outdoor dining area.

Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts in Petoskey

New arcade games and product inventory for a soon-to-open candy store. 

Lake Cadillac Party Store in Cadillac

Renovations and new furniture, fixtures, and equipment at a downtown ice cream shop. 

Rusty Petunias in Alpena

Opening a second-story retail space at the home decor, gift, souvenir, wine, and beer store.

Spike’s Keg O’Nails in Grayling

Installation of a concrete slab to allow the restaurant to create a new outdoor patio.

Salon Beau Est Beau in Cheboygan

Interior renovations and new furniture, fixtures, and equipment at a downtown salon. 

A-Tech Complete Computer Solutions in Allegan

Interior renovations to help a computer repair and sales shop to expand into a nearby storefront. 

Riverside Guitar School in Grand Rapids

Interior updates that will allow for additional classroom space for a growing guitar school.

River Stop in Newaygo

Lower level restaurant space will create a unique new dining experience downtown.

Fashion Has Heart in Grand Rapids

Purchase of coffee equipment for a veteran-managed coffee shop in downtown Grand Rapids. 

Pink Elephant Diner in Hart

Interior and exterior building improvements to allow a diner to expand into an adjoining space. 

Papa Zeke’s in Grand Haven

Purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment for a new restaurant in downtown Grand Haven. 

Cream and Sugar in Saginaw

Interior building renovations at the coffee shop’s second location.

Longer Table in Harrison

Purchase of furniture and fixtures for interior restaurant space, and outdoor dining equipment. 

Cinders Grill in Laingsburg

Purchase of restaurant fire suppression system, as well as furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Kin Thai in Lapeer

Support for a kitchen and restaurant buildout to help a Thai restaurant open a second location.

Kids-N-Stuff in Albion 

Building improvements and a newly enhanced entryway at a local children’s museum. 

Oh My Darlings in South Haven

Building improvements and a newly enhanced entryway for a local children’s store. 

Goodship in Niles

Interior improvements to allow a guitar strap manufacturer to open a new location in Niles.

Ploughman’s Market and Deli in Cassopolis

Outdoor dining area and interior building renovations to enable a new restaurant to open.

Bird Dog Baking Co. in Ypsilanti 

Interior improvements that will allow a new bakery and coffee shop to open.

Sunset Ridge BBQ in Tecumseh

Purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment for a new BBQ restaurant downtown.

Magri in Mount Clemens

Interior building improvements to enhance customer experience at a local salon.  

Author

  • Kyle Kaminski

    Kyle Kaminski is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news across Michigan. Prior to joining The ‘Gander, Kyle worked as the managing editor at City Pulse in Lansing and as a reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

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