Five companies in Western Michigan received $100,000 each in Rural Development Fund grants from the state.
The grants were among $1.4 million in funding for 20 projects awarded last month by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The funding program aims to “promote the sustainability of land-based industries and support infrastructure that benefits rural communities,” according to the department.
Local companies receiving $100,000 in funding included:
- Hart-based West Central Michigan Horticulture Research Inc. for the development of a research facility
- Walkerville-based Arbre Farms Corp. for the construction of a multiple-unit housing structure for employees in housing transition
- Manistee-based North Channel Brewing Co. for equipment for a brewhouse expansion
- Traverse City-based Wunsch Farms for building a 40-person workforce housing unit
- Petoskey-based veneer company Manthei Inc. for an equipment purchase
Other grants in Northwest Michigan included Empire-based J & DC Chocolates LLC ($80,794), Honor Area Restoration Projects ($20,000) and the Empire Business Association ($10,000).
The 20 grants are expected to leverage an match of more than $2.3 million invested across rural areas in Michigan, according to the department.
“This round of rural development grants has turned out to be one of the most diverse yet,” MDARD Director Gary McDowell said in a statement. “With every round of grants, not only are we making an impact on rural areas in Michigan, but we’re also learning just how much is going on in our state, and how much it has to offer.”
The competitively awarded grants are open to qualifying projects in eligible Michigan counties with a population of no more than 60,000 people. Eligible counties in West Michigan include Allegan, Barry, Cass, Ionia, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and St. Joseph.