Leveraging New Funds: Houghton Is One of 41 Michigan Firms to Receive Grants | News, sports, jobs

Graham Jaehnig / Daily Mining Gazette Carl Rundman, owner of Good Times Music on Shelden Ave. in Houghton, stands behind the counter of his music shop, the only one between Marquette and Duluth. Good Times Music was awarded a $ 25,000 Match-on-Main Scholarship by the MEDC on Thursday. Rundman has already extensively renovated his store and the grant will help him install new carpets throughout the store.

HOUGHTON – Good Times Music in Houghton was one of 41 small businesses to receive government grants and one of two in the Upper Peninsula.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday that 28 communities across Michigan have received a total of $ 1,011,057 in grants to help local small businesses build resilience and build the city center through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Match on Main grant program (MEDC).

Good Times Music, the only music business in a geographical triangle between Marquette, Duluth, Minnesota, and Rhinelander, Wisconsin, was one of only two small Upper Peninsula companies to receive grants. The other business is the Ore Dock Brewing Company in Marquette.

Hannah Rundman, the daughter of Bruce Rundman, who owns Good Times, said the grant will target the interior of the store, including the physical structure, displays and anything else that goes to make the store work.

“The ultimate goal” said Karl, “Is trying to do business better.”

Rundman said part of the equation is that the fellow knows the company will either keep or grow the business without having to cut jobs to maintain the physical structure.

“We have three employees” he said, “And we have had three employees for a few years. I don’t see that it is getting less and less and we also have independent contractors who do repairs for us and who are also music teachers. “

Part of it, he explained, is that MEDC is trying to stimulate revenue to keep the business going.

“The Match-on-Main Grants help us put small businesses first.” Whitmer said in a press release Thursday, “And building on the 145,000 jobs we created last year by continuing to invest in our communities and highways across the state.””

MEDC’s Match on Main program provides funding to communities that are a select and masterful community on the Michigan Main Street program or are a certified community for redevelopment. In turn, the communities receiving the MEDC grants will award grants of up to $ 25,000 to eligible companies seeking assistance. The grants are designed to create or maintain 75 full-time and 153 part-time jobs, and the projects are expected to generate total private investment of more than $ 1.7 million.

The Match-on-Main grants may be used by the company for eligible expenses that support technical assistance, interior renovations, permanent or semi-permanent activation of an outdoor area, permanent or semi-permanent business infrastructure related to COVID-19 recovery efforts, and other working capital needs such as Marketing needs and storage costs. Additional needs identified by the company and supported by the local community are also considered.

Rundman will use the grant to help lay new carpets across the store.

“You can see how bad it is” he said. “And there are two other types of carpets, four types of bad carpets that fall apart and pose a tripping hazard on the main level.”

Rundman said he had already done extensive remodeling of the store during the COVID-19 shutdown and the carpeting would complete the renovation.

Hanna said the store has seen a number of improvements since it closed, including building a showroom for keyboards and digital pianos, and showrooms for acoustic guitars and electric guitars and amps.

During the renovation work, plexiglass railings, the addition of a floor and a staircase to the second level, which is now Rundman’s office, were added.

In March 2021, MEDC announced that 17 communities in Michigan have received a total of $ 500,743 in grants to support small local businesses to build resilience and strengthen downtown Michigan. The program supported a total of 21 small businesses in Michigan.

Michigan’s small businesses are a vital part of the state’s economy, employing more than 1.8 million people. Helping businesses open and grow is a primary focus of MEDC, and the Match on Main Street program is one of MEDC’s tools in providing new and expanding businesses in the Main Street boroughs with the opportunity to grow and thrive to be. Further information on the program can be found here. For more information on MEDC’s services to Michigan businesses, please visit here.

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