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The City of Ishpeming and the Downtown Development Authority announce new grant program, the Start-Up Assistance Grant

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Ishpeming, Mich, August 8, 2023 – Prospective business owners of the City of Ishpeming are invited to apply for the Ishpeming Downtown Development Authority’s (DDA) newest program, the Start-Up Assistance Grant. This program is made possible by the DDA budget and aims to support and attract new businesses to Downtown Ishpeming by providing up to $2,500 to four qualified applicants each calendar year. These funds can be used for expenses related to establishing their business in downtown Ishpeming, including:

  • Rent
  • Repairs
  • Equipment purchases or rentals
  • Business supplies
  • Business insurance
  • Marketing efforts
  • Other start-up related expenses

“This is a great opportunity for prospective business owners and entrepreneurs to make their business a reality and join Downtown Ishpeming, which is abundant in community, history, culture and opportunity,” said David Aro, Ishpeming Downtown Development Authority Member. “Through the DDA, we are focused on implementing programs that will create meaningful action to drive our historic downtown forward. By providing funds through initiatives like the Start-Up Assistance Grant, it’s just one of the many ways we can work towards achieving this goal, which includes supporting the businesses of Downtown Ishpeming and encouraging economic growth.”

To qualify for the grant, applicants are required to provide:

  • A start-up business plan to assess its viability and sustainability.  
  • Details on how the funds will be utilized in the start-up process.
  • Legal documentation including a W-9 form.

After submitting, the DDA will review applications in the order they are received. The committee will score applications based on the following criteria:

  • Type of Business: The DDA is seeking businesses that will create jobs, complement existing businesses and are not similar to existing businesses in the community.
  • Business Plan: Areas which will be highly considered:
    1. Demand for the products/services
    2. Access to capital
    3. Owner experience in the industry
    4. Number of potential employees
    5. Business location
  • Use of Funds: Details of how the funds will be used in the start-up process.

Applications and required documentation must be submitted to the Ishpeming City Clerk’s office within the calendar year window. Once the budgeted funds are awarded, the window closes. Applications are available at City Hall or online. This program is only available for businesses that fall within the DDA’s geographic boundaries.

Additionally, accepted applicants will be provided a one-year paid membership to the Lake Superior Community Partnership and the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Chamber of Commerce. 

For more information about this grant program please visit:

About Ishpeming

The City of Ishpeming is located in Marquette County in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is home to about 6,600 residents. Boasting a rich mining heritage, creative small businesses, dozens of miles of trails and many outdoor amenities, and a community-centric culture, Ishpeming is a wonderful place to live, work, and play. During 2023, Ishpeming is proud to celebrate its sesquicentennial birthday, honoring the past 150 years and looking ahead to a bright future. To learn more about Ishpeming, visit

About Ishpeming Downtown Development Authority

The Downtown Development Authority’s (DDA) mission is to take meaningful action steps to revitalize the traditional historic downtown, using available funds in practical and achievable projects.  Such as beautification, streetscape enhancement, urban design, façade improvements, historic preservation, use of technology, promotional events, advertising and marketing, collaborative efforts and partnerships, business development and redevelopment, selective property purchases and sales, and community organization.


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