Friday was a beautiful day to welcome in visitors from out of town, but then again, pretty much any day is that for Muskegon. This time however, it was a bit of a red carpet affair as Mike Walsh, Chief of Staff of the Department of Commerce paid a visit to the Grand Valley State University Hub to announce a major grant in support of entrepreneurial growth in West Michigan.
From their press release - " Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $68,250 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, Muskegon, Michigan, to develop a study to analyze the entrepreneurial support needs in Muskegon and West Michigan, including business start-up, business acceleration, and potential sectors for new growth. The EDA grant will be matched with $17,063 in local funds."
That's an exciting and uplifting piece of news for our area and the developing business here. Also from the press release - “The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support the efforts of the Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission in evaluating the needs of the region’s entrepreneurial and small business communities,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “Working with Grand Valley State University's (GVSU) Hub, the Entrepreneurial Market Analysis will gather information on the needs of the region’s entrepreneurial and small business communities, catalog services currently available to those communities, and provide successful examples of other entrepreneurial and small business support programs and practices.”
It's not just every day that we at the Muskegon Channel get a chance to welcome the Chief of Staff of the Department of Commerce, so, we caught up with Mike Walsh after his press conference and his team enjoyed lunch on the shores of Lake Michigan at The Deck. Hey, if you've got guests in town, treat them right, right? Mike and his team got to work helping at the United Way Day of Caring at Mona View Cemetery and we got a few words with him before they pitched in. Take a listen.
Muskegon. As we talked in the video, it's been such a thing for me to have a role in over the last 20 years or so. How things were contracting when I got here, how they began to emerge, and how when COVID hit so many question marks appeared. We're not out of the woods yet, but we're so grateful that the resources are still coming and the research is being done on how to continue that growth through good times and bad. We're very grateful to Mike and his team for a few exclusive minutes just before they grabbed the rakes and did their part for us once again on 9-11.