NLEA July Newsletter
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$20 Million in Grants to Expand Broadband in Rural Michigan

Buck Love, Business Retention & Growth
If this is what your home computer still looks like or feels like while waiting to connect to the internet in rural northern Michigan, you are not alone, and you are not forgotten! A   July 9 th , 2019 press release  from the office of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced an open application period to award $20 million in grants to expand internet access in under served areas of Michigan.

Whitmer stated that access to high-speed internet is a must for every Michigan community, “Everyone should be able to fully explore their passions and talents, no matter where they live, and not be held back by a lack of infrastructure,” said Whitmer.
One step closer to new trail-head in Onaway

Jessica Lovay, Community Development & Grants

A new trail-head featuring a farmer’s market area, pavilion, and public restrooms, will bring multiple economic advantages to the City of Onaway.

The opportunity to have a consistent farmer’s market will have an impact on the local farmers and artisans who will now have a permanent location in which to sell their goods and grow their operations—as more sales typically lead to more employees. The excitement from small business owners and local growers is evident in the letters of support.
National engineering & design firm to evaluate 3 northern Michigan sites

Hannah Sanderson, Business Attraction & Growth

Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) submitted industrial sites to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to be selected for a site evaluation completed by Olsson, a national engineering and design firm. There were 7 sites selected for 2019 in the State of Michigan, three of them being in northern Michigan: the Cheboygan Industrial Park, Port of Cheboygan, and 26 vacant acres in Mancelona Township.
$1.7 million expansion progressing for Bulmann

Carly Bortz, Administrative/Communications

Bulmann Dock & Lift (Bulmann) will create and retain 30 jobs as a result of their $1.7 million expansion. Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) has worked in partnership with Wilson Township and Bulmann to assess their needs and help them make this investment.
Embrace community entrepreneurship with this unique conference opportunity!

Andy Hayes, NLEA President

Each year since 2007, the MSU Extension Entrepreneurship Work Team produces the state-wide “Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities” (CEC) Conference. To showcase different communities, the conference in different cities throughout the state; last year it was held in Charlevoix, and this year on Oct 1-2, 2019 it will be held in Ludington.

Finding the right fit through public input


Amanda Baker, Community Development & Engagement

When it comes to determining the best projects for your community, some can easily rise to the top based on needs and timing.

In order to have a well-rounded view of how the project should come together, it’s important to take the steps to gather public input.

Available site marketing packages coming soon

Evan Root & Madelyn Cain, NLEA Interns

This month we have wrapped up our meetings with nine municipalities, and have identified 27 sites as well as six different industrial parks to highlight for redevelopment. 

During this process we have been creating marketing packages that will be available online in a simple link that will feature up to three redevelopment ready sites and an industrial park if the community has one. 
Find out what our Core Partners are up to!
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