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In order to help attract and support new businesses for Ishpeming, the Ishpeming Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has established the Start Up Assistance Grant (SUAG).

The grant will provide $2,500 to successful applicants that can be used for expenses related to establishing their business in downtown Ishpeming.  Additionally, 1-year memberships will be paid to the Lake Superior Community Partnership and the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Chamber of Commerce.

SUAG applications will be judged by the DDA and the program is only available for businesses that fall within the geographic boundaries serviced by the DDA.

Downtown Development Authority - Start Up Assistance Grant Application
Downtown Development Authority - Start Up Assistance Grant Application
148.2 KiB


The committee will create scoring criteria based on the following:

  • 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 Plans: Applicants will provide a start-up business plan to assess its viability and sustainability.  Areas of the plan most scrutinized will be:
    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 will also be a factor.

Applicants are encourage to seek assistance in their start-up from the Lake Superior Community Partnership (LSCP), the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Chamber of Commerce (GINCC), or the Michigan Small Business Development Center for business planning assistance.


  • Applications and related documentation must be submitted to the Ishpeming DDA within the calendar year the money is budgeted. Applications will be available at City Hall or at the link above.
  • The DDA will review applications in the order they are received, and once the budgeted funds are spent the application window for that calendar year is closed.
  • The DDA may ask applicants to appear in person to answer questions about their application or business plan.
  • Once funds are received, businesses will have 90 days to open the doors of their business or the funds must be returned.
  • Funds may only be used for building rent, building repairs, equipment purchases or rentals, supplies, insurance, marketing, or other related start-up expenses.
  • Funds may NOT be used to make payments on existing loans or salaries to owners.
  • Grantees must supply a W-9 form to the DDA, and 1099 forms will be issued to the owner of the business.
  • The decision of the DDA is final and is not subject to arbitration or legal challenge.
  • Violation of any rules may result in revocation of the grant or require repayment.
  • The DDA may roll over unallocated funds if awards do not meet the budget threshold any given year.

Phone: (906)485-1091  •  Fax: (906)485-6246  •  City Hall: 100 E. Division Street, Ishpeming, MI 49849
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