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The City of Coldwater, together with Century Bank and Trust, Southern Michigan Bank and Trust, Downtown Development Authority (DDA), and Branch County Economic Growth Alliance (BCEGA) are taking significant steps to advance economic development efforts in downtown Coldwater. Building owners who commit to investing in their properties, including their façades, could benefit from the assistance of a Low Interest Loan Pool and Rebate Program.
Approved projects can apply for access to the low interest loan pool, offering below market interest rates. Century Bank and Trust and Southern Michigan Bank and Trust have together designated $800,000 toward the low interest loan program. In addition, a rebate program will be offered through the DDA, directly reimbursing a percentage of the costs to investors upon completion of approved projects. $10,000 has been made available annually by the DDA to fund the rebate program.
“We are eager to team up with the City of Coldwater and Southern Michigan Bank and Trust in rekindling the loan pool program for downtown building and business owners,” said Eric Beckhusen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Century Bank and Trust. “A vibrant and sustainable city center is an integral part of our community’s long-term success and important component for providing opportunities and pride for our citizens.
“We are hopeful that these incentives will serve as a catalyst for downtown revitalization,” said John Castle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Southern Michigan Bank and Trust. “Century and Southern have always recognized and appreciated the importance of a dynamic downtown for the future of Coldwater, and we look forward to supporting this initiative.”
“We have had great success with these tools in the past.” said Lisa Miller, Economic Development Director for the Growth Alliance. “These incentives, along with the programs available at the state level, will encourage investment in our downtown district. We are grateful that Century and Southern have again committed funds toward this program in support of our community.”
Successful implementation will result in a stronger downtown and a stronger community for the greater Branch County area. Applicants must own or rent property in the Central Business District. Design assistance and consultation are available for all applicants. Assistance will offer building owners help when it comes to choosing appropriate colors, awnings, signage designs, and assessing other incentive programs that might fit their project. “Downtown Coldwater features historic and unique design elements that need to be maintained. The City of Coldwater and its Downtown Development Authority want to improve downtown Coldwater’s image, develop its buildings for mixed uses, and distinguish its businesses as integral to the community,” said Coldwater City Manager Keith Baker.
Applications for both the low interest loans and the rebates will soon be available online at www.coldwater.org or by contacting Economic Development Assistant Audrey Tappenden at 517-279-6913.