Local Farmers Markets Get Grants to Expand

By: News 10
By: News 10

“These grants will support local markets, strengthen communities and create jobs in our state,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney.

Farmers markets in Grand Ledge, East Lansing and Holt are getting some extra money from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

7 others around the state will also share in a grant worth $200,000.

“Farmers markets improve our downtowns and bring vitality and a sense of place to our communities,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “These grants will support local markets, strengthen communities and create jobs in our state.”

The farmers markets chosen for today’s awards are located in Delhi Charter Township, Gladstone, Marquette, Boyne City, Port Sanilac, Gaylord, Chelsea, East Lansing, Grand Ledge and Canton Township. The winning projects will provide $269,450 in matching funds.

The Delhi Township/Holt Farmers Market got a $10,000 grant to create a community kitchen that will expand the market into a year-round event and create a potential for community events, like a wine tasting.

The East Lansing Farmers Market was awarded $35,000 to create a place for people to gather. A new covered plaza that is functional and pleasing to the eye will be built to house the farmers market as well as be available for special events.

The Grand Ledge Downtown Development Authority got a grant for $15,000. It wants to construct an 11,500 sq. ft. multi-use building along the river in downtown Grand Ledge. The building will be used primarily for the farmers market, as well as for an ice rink and other community events. They also will develop a business and marketing plan to help the market grow.

Announced in June, the Farmers Market Grant Program provides one-time grants between $10,000 and $50,000 to existing farmers markets that have been in operation for at least four years in Michigan. Projects for consideration included unique and innovative design elements, amenities for patrons and vendors, multi-use spaces, multi-modal transportation, marketing and signage. Projects that make markets more accessible to residents were also given preference.

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