From the Economic Development Desk of the
September 23, 2020
You are receiving this email because your organization is at one of the economic development tiers with the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce. As always, we encourage your comments and questions.
We spent most of the last month tending to the MEDC Restart Grant program funded through the CARES Act. This was a huge undertaking. Adam and Alisha spent considerable time helping me administer this program. Without their help, I would still be processing grants. The deadline for getting funding out to grantees was September 30. We had our last check out the door on August 26. The hard push served two purposes:
  • Get the money to where it is needed.  
  • The sooner this program is done, the faster I could return to the elements of my job. About 75% of my time since then has been devoted to this exercise.

Now that the grant program is finally in our rear-view mirror I will share the results with you. Some highlights:
  • The funding came directly from the Federal government through the CARES Act legislation. Money was earmarked for each state to help small businesses.  
  • Michigan was awarded $100,000,000 to meet the needs of small businesses across all 83 counties.  
  • Target was given $3.5 million, to meet small business needs across five counties: Alpena, Alcona, Iosco, Presque Isle and Cheboygan. 

Program Results: 
  • Statewide there were 37,000 requests
  • Our five-county area generated 497 applications: 394 approved
  • Alpena County had $931,000 to disburse to small businesses in our county
  • Alpena had 170 requests, 150 were approved. 
  • For our five county area, 58% of the funds went to female, minority or veteran owned businesses
  • As a reminder Target was not be involved in the approval/decision process. This was handled by a committee formed for this program. Committee members will remain anonymous.  
  • As the EDO, we were allowed to keep a small percent for an administrative fee. We shared this fee with the economic development organizations that operate in the counties we serviced under this program.
  • The MEDC will publish the results statewide in the next few weeks. Watch their website if you are interested in seeing the results.
  • We are unaware of any other similar programs in the works at this time.

Other Matters
The City and NOAA both submitted proposals for the new DCIP program that is part of the Office or Economic Adjustment (OEA). Neither project made the cut. We have a conference call next week with a program manager to learn about our specific scoring so we can better position ourselves with future submissions.    

Developer Activity
On the developer front, things have been quieter in the last month. We had several conversations underway with multiple developers about various projects around town. The flurry of conference calls and meetings in July and August were centered around getting these developers the data they needed to assess the viability of their projects and proposals. I continue to reach out to all of them seeking updates and letting them know I stand by ready to assist. The assistance could take many forms including getting them in front of the right people, helping with zoning issues, and finding them alternative sites if the first one will not work. In most cases there are NDA’s (Non-Disclosure Agreements) in place preventing me and involved parties from discussing these projects until such time as the developer is ready to announce.

Most of the development interest centers on the M-32 corridor and elevated the traffic counts associated with the big box stores. There has also been interest in US 23 north of town, several projects are being considered. The US 23 south corridor continues to present challenges. We see signs of progress in recent years like the Kmart sale to I2P, Fitzpatrick Hardware, and the newly built dental office then we get hit with the JC Penney closure announcement, Burger King and now the recent announcement of the departure of Neiman's Family Market. We will continue to do what we can to represent and promote the south corridor. Neiman’s Family Market has been a staple in this community for four decades. Myself and the Chamber staff wish Hal and Jean all the best.  

In the meantime, be well!    
We here at the chamber and economic development are still focused on our missions and continue to work for you.
Chairman Level ($3,201+)
Alpena Agency, Inc.
Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union
Alpena Community College
Alpena County
Alpena Power Company
Bannan Funeral Home
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Charter Township of Alpena
City of Alpena
Edward Jones – Andrew Kowalski
Edward Jones – Bryan Strong
Edward Jones – Charles R. Ingle
Edward Jones – Eric M. Ferguson
Edward Jones – Marc K. Ferguson
Edward Jones – Pamela Kirchoff
H.P.C. Credit Union
Huntington Bank
Lappan Agency
MidMichigan Health
Presque Isle County
Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-Op
Wolverine State Credit Union

Leader Level ($3,200)   
Partner Level ($1,500) 
Alpena Community Credit Union
Alpena Public Schools
Bedrock Contracting and Excavating
Besser Company
Builders First Source
Clearview Car Wash
Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan
Downtown Development Authority
Decorative Panels International (DPI)
DTE Energy
Employment Services Inc. (ESI)
ITC Holdings, Corp.
Keystone Rental Equipment
LeFave Pharmacy and Compounding
MI Stop Citgo/MI Stop Deli
Northland Area Federal Credit Union
Pennzoil Ten Minute Oil Change Center of Alpena
PNC Bank
Propane Plus Inc.
Star Staffing Alpena
State Street Auto Wash
TCF Bank
Tier4 Technical Support
Timm Construction Company, LLC
Sponsor Level ($475)
Alcona Health Center 
Alpena Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Alpena Beverage Company
Alpena Biorefinery
Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library
Alpena Events Complex
Alpena Glass Company, Inc.
Alpena News Publishing Company
Alpena Supply Company
Austin Brothers' Beer Company
Ball Tire
Banner Realty
Besser Foundation
Besser Senior Living Community, Inc.
Boldrey, Senchuk, Rouleau & Williams, CPA's, PC
Bolenz Jewelry
Building Express Inc.
Capital One Spark Business
Cardell and Sons Landscaping
Century 21 Crow Realty
Clark Construction Company
Cliff Anschuetz Chevrolet Inc.
Cocoa Capital Corp
Compassus Hospice
Consumers Energy
Control Solutions Inc
Cutting Edge Construction
Dean Arbour Ford Lincoln
Devere Industrial, LLC
Downtown Union 76 LLC
Everett Goodrich, Inc.
Fiber Char
H&R Block
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
Huron Engineering & Surveying
Industrial Image, Inc.
Lewis & Lewis Professional Surveying, Inc.
McDonald's Restaurant
Meridian Contracting Services, LLC
Michigan Works Center
Midwest Diesel Service
Neiman's Family Market
Northern Abstract & Title Agency
Northern Eye
Omega Electric & Sign Company Inc.
Ossineke Industries
Plowman's Collision Service
Pompeyos Mexican Grill
Presque Isle Township
R.A. Townsend Company
R.S. Scott Associates, Inc.
Ramada Alpena
RE/MAX New Horizons
Real Estate One of Alpena
ServiceMaster Home & Office
Sherwin Williams
Sixty Minutes to Freedom
Skiba Insurance Service
SkyWest Airlines
Specification Stone Products
Straley Lamp & Kraenzlein P.C.
Stratford Group Ltd.
Sunrise Behavioral Health Clinic
Switzer Veterinary Clinic
Tarkington Family Dentistry
Team Elmer's
The Drug Store/Northern Exposure Framing & Matting
The Home Depot
Thunder Bay Accounting
Thunder Bay Electric, Inc.
Thunder Bay Eye Care
Thunder Bay Family Dentistry
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Thunder Bay Therapy & Sports Medicine
Thunder Bay Tree Services, LLC
Time to Shine Carwash
True North Radio Network
W.G. Benjey Inc./S&A Company
Weinkauf Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
Werth Development, LLC
West Design Center
White, Wojda and Curtis
Wolf Family Dentistry
Wolgast Corporation
Young Appliance, Electronics, Furniture & Mattresses
Zen 24 Hour Fitness Center