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Grand Rapids Mayor Bliss receives national award for small biz support COURTESY PHOTO

Grand Rapids Mayor Bliss receives national award for small biz support

BY Tuesday, April 17, 2018 10:42am

GRAND RAPIDS –– The U.S. Conference of Mayors on Monday awarded Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss its Partner America 2018 Small Business Advocate Award.

The trade organization for U.S. cities of 30,000 people or more noted Bliss’ support of tax increment financing tools for business such as Corridor Improvement Districts (CIDs), of which the city has five.

“This award is a testament to our commitment as a city to be the best place for businesses and where entrepreneurs can successfully start and grow a business,” Mayor Bliss said in a statement. “I am honored to receive this award on behalf of all those in our community who support these efforts and all the amazing small businesses and entrepreneurs that add to our city’s vibrancy.”

Bliss received the award during an event Monday at the offices of Grand Rapids-based tech firm Atomic Object LLC. The company’s office at 1034 Wealthy St. SE is within the city’s Uptown Corridor Improvement District, the first designated CID in Grand Rapids.

Once established, CIDs can establish tax increment financing plans and levy special assessments, according to the state’s Corridor Improvement Authority Act.

Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, also noted Bliss’ call for Grand Rapids to buy goods locally.

“A small gesture like this can have a significant impact on businesses and their success,” Cochran said in a statement. “Mayor Bliss is a model for how city leaders can support small businesses.”

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