September News Articles
Fiber is the Future
Andy Hayes, NLEA President

The  FCC  estimates that more than 350,000 homes in rural areas of Michigan cannot connect to higher speed internet providers. A great partner of NLEA,  Great Lakes Energy , came in to help answer the call for higher speeds with the launch of their fiber internet and phone service,  Truestream Fiber .
Great Lakes Energy has begun constructing  GLE’s high-speed fiber internet network  in their Petoskey service district. By 2020 or sooner GLE members of Emmet County, Beaver Island, and small portions of Charlevoix and Cheboygan Counties will have higher internet speeds, as shown in shaded portions of the map.
What would first-time Tourists say about your Community?
Amanda Baker, Downtown Development Coordinator
More than 70 residents showed up for the Community Report Forum hosted by the MSUE First Impressions in Tourism (FIT) team and the East Jordan Community Marketing Team.

East Jordan continues to show up for community input when it comes to efforts for growth and improvement. The Community Marketing Team, made up of representatives from the DDA, Chamber of Commerce, City, school, and local community groups, recently invited representatives from MSUE FIT program to assess the town and report on their findings as first time visitors with no prior knowledge. On August 27, 2018, the assessors shared their unbiased responses with the community.
Public Spaces Community Places
Hannah Sanderson, Business Attraction & Growth

Crowdfunding Campaign to benefit GreenLight East Jordan

“The Breezeway,” a 26-mile business corridor that stretches from Atwood to Boyne Falls, will soon be activated through a new  crowdfunding campaign , the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Northern Lakes Economic Alliance announced. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $5,000 by October 10, the project will win a matching grant of $5,000 with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit: .

Untapped Funds in your Rural Community
Carly Bortz, Administrative/Communications Assistant

You could be missing out on loan programs for your home or business.

Eligible businesses and home buyers/owners in rural communities could receive USDA assistance, but local lenders may be unaware these programs exist or how they work.

NLEA came together with loan experts Alan Anderson and Shelly Collins of USDA Rural Development to host a lending forum to walk local lenders through their Business & Industry Loan Guarantee Program and several Rural Housing loan services.

In a small group setting, the lending forum was a great way for lenders to have their questions answered and have fruitful discussion on loan eligibility, restrictions, and terms. Lenders also learned the process of underwriting these USDA loans so that they would be better prepared to offer programs to their clients.
You Want to Build a What? The Scoop on ADUs.
Janet Koch, Community Development

What would you say if I told you there’s a way, available right now, to help alleviate the housing shortage?

According to the  American Planning Association , an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, is a “smaller, independent residential dwelling unit located on the same lot as a stand-alone (i.e., detached) single-family home.” ADUs can be a converted portion of a single-family home and they can be detached. They also might be called by another name, e.g. granny flats, but the intent is the same; to add housing capacity.

On August 29, the  City of Boyne City  and the  Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce  hosted a community  housing forum .
Economic Alphabet Soup-CDBG
Jessica Lovay, Office Manager/Grant Administrator
Acronyms and Economic Development are like peanut butter and jelly—they go hand in hand. So CDBG, what does that even stand for? The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a federal grant program utilizing funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Each year, Michigan receives approximately $30 million in federal CDBG funds, out of which various projects are funded through the state.

Grant funding is designed to assist local units of government that have plans in place to promote and strengthen the infrastructure and environment in their downtowns. These grants are designed to help create vibrant communities and enhance sense of place through blight elimination, job creation, and by benefiting areas of low- to moderate-income individuals.