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Howell coffeehouse to revamp interior with state grant

A local coffeehouse will be looking to get a new look inside thanks to a state grant.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) on Monday announced that 19 communities around Michigan have been awarded a total of $491,834 in grants aimed at supporting small local businesses to create resiliency and strengthen downtowns. 

Among the recipients is Uptown Coffeehouse in Downtown Howell, which will receive $25,000. Owner Lorna Brennan tells GIGO News that Howell Main Street DDA assisted her with the paperwork and applied on her behalf. She plans to use the money for an interior renovation, saying that other than new equipment, in her nearly twenty years of ownership she has never made a change to the counter/service area.

“Michigan’s unique downtowns are the heart of our communities, and with today’s Match on Main grants, we are helping small businesses in both peninsulas by investing in bustling commercial districts for people to visit, shop, and dine in, attracting more talent and new investments,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “These grants will help our cities and towns continue to grow and thrive, building on our ongoing economic momentum.” 

MEDC’s Match on Main (MoM) 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. 

The grants are expected to create or retain 135 full-time jobs, and the projects are expected to generate a total private investment of more than $2.9 million. 

“Thriving small businesses are the cornerstone of what makes Michigan’s downtowns unique and authentic while helping to create economic opportunity across the state,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “With the support of the Match on Main program, we can help local businesses grow and create jobs, while further developing vibrant and attractive places where people want to live, work, visit and play.” 

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.

Additional needs identified by the business and supported by the local community are also considered. 


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