TR DDA receives $20k in Main Street vibrancy grant funding

THREE RIVERS — The Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority was one of five Michigan communities to receive $20,000 grants Friday from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to support downtown enhancement and improvement projects.

The Main Street Vibrancy Grant Program, through the MEDC’s Michigan Main Street program, is intended to provide grants of $20,000 to Select or Master level Michigan Main Street communities for projects that enhance the vibrancy and economic vitality of Michigan Main Street downtowns. Projects could include pop-up shop programs, implementation of a marketing or advertising campaign, physical improvements such as new seating, seasonal infrastructure, signage, or art, and other transformative projects that help create a sense of place and a more vibrant community. 

The Three Rivers DDA, who applied for the grant recently, received $20,000 for what was described in a press release as “Downtown in Bloom,” which include public art upgrades to the Mural Mall and art-inspired banners, lighting, bistro seating and outdoor game areas, such as chess and ping-pong tables.

Three Rivers joined the Grayling Downtown Development Authority, the Blissfield Downtown Development Authority, the Owosso Downtown Development Authority and Downtown Lansing Inc. in receiving the $20,000 grants.

“We are thrilled to be a recipient of the Main Street Vibrancy Grant. This grant will allow us to accomplish great things in our Downtown as we anticipate a continued surge in foot traffic and new visitors with the announcement of our newly designated Social District called ‘Main Street Commons,’” DDA Director Tricia Meyer said in a statement. “We are a small community with big dreams and limited resources and this funding will enable us to further transform our charming Downtown into a vibrant place to explore.”

Michelle Parkkonen, Director of Community Development Technical Assistance Programs at the MEDC, said in a statement the communities who received the grants have “worked diligently” to enhance their downtowns and drive economic growth.

“Today’s Vibrancy grants will help further strengthen the downtowns and commercial districts in these communities, helping their businesses grow while also building unique places that are attractive to residents and visitors,” Parkkonen said.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer praised the communities in her statement on the grants.

“Thriving, attractive downtowns are vital to creating unique places where people want to live, work, visit and play,” Whitmer said. “With today’s grants, these communities are taking important steps toward strengthening their core commercial districts and driving economic growth in the community. As we jumpstart our economy and begin a quintessential Michigan summer, I am excited for vibrant downtown areas to be full of life once again.”

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 23 or

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