Column RisingIn a press release issued Wednesday, March 8, Governor Rick Snyder announced the three communities that were chosen to take part in the Michigan Main Street Program’s Select Level. Charlotte, which presented its case to a panel of experts at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on Feb. 14, was selected along with Lapeer and Sault Ste. Marie.
“I’m excited to see how these three communities will grow within the next five years,” Snyder stated in the news release. “With the support of the Main Street program and the MEDC, I believe we can positively transform the downtowns in some smaller communities to ensure their place on Michigan’s path toward our future.”
The City of Charlotte has ramped up its downtown revitalization efforts over the course of the past year, due in large part to its inclusion in the Project Rising Tide Program Snyder established in 2015. The local non-profit CharlotteRising was established as direct result of Project Rising Tide and has since served as the catalyst for downtown revitalization efforts.
CharlotteRising chair Joe E. Pray issued the following statement in response to Charlotte’s selection as a Michigan Main Street Select community.
“CharlotteRising is thrilled to be included in the list released Wednesday by Gov. Rick Snyder of up-and-coming communities invited to join Michigan Main Street Center’s select level program. The timing of this announcement simply could not be any better and is an important milestone in our community’s revitalization efforts. The graduation from associate level to select level will help us continue to exponentially build on the positive momentum our community has created in just one short year.”
As a Select Level community, Charlotte will receive five years of technical assistance from the MEDC and Michigan Main Street. The assistance is designed to focus revitalization efforts on attracting new residents, investments in business, job creation and economic growth.
“Michigan Main Street’s select level status will provide our downtown area with the necessary resources, tools and best practices to continue enhancing our community,” Pray stated. “This advancement in partnership marks the beginning of a new adventure that will drive our organization and community forward with even more unity and conviction.”
According to Gov. Snyder’s news release, from 2003 through 2016, the Michigan Main Street program has helped establish a1,047 new businesses, and 2,280 net new jobs were created.
“We are – and have been – working hard to make our hometown an even better place to work, play and live,” Pray stated. “And now, with the support of our community and these new resources, we are one step closer to unleashing Charlotte’s full potential.”