Match on Main

Match on Main is a reimbursement grant program, provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, that serves as a tool to support new or expanding place-based businesses by providing up to $25,000 in funding to support an eligible small business through an application submitted, administered, and managed by the local unit of government, downtown development authority, or other downtown management or community development organization where the business is located.

Match on Main strives to:
1) Support the creation and growth of place-based businesses located in select or master Michigan Main Street districts or essentials or certified Redevelopment Ready Communities® across the state
2) Provide access to capital for place-based businesses, create and retain jobs, leverage private investment, and activate vacant or underutilized space
3) Provide eligible communities with a business recruitment and retention tool as they work to grow and support their local entrepreneurial ecosystem

Owosso Main Street & Downtown Development Authority Application Timeline:

  • Application window opens February 29th
  • Application due to Owosso Main Street on March 15th at 2pm

Download the Local Match on Main Business Application

Submit your application or questions to: [email protected] 

Match on Main Fact Sheet

How the Match on Main Program Works:
The Match on Main program provides grant funding to support an eligible small business desiring to
launch or grow on main street by providing up to $25,000 in funding, reimbursed for eligible activities.
The program is administered and managed by the local unit of government, downtown development
authority, or other downtown management or community development organization who serves as the
“eligible applicant”. The eligible applicant will select one eligible business, per application, located in
their traditional downtown or other eligible business district to include for support – with a maximum of
two applications submitted per funding round.

What type of businesses qualify for funding?
Businesses must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:
• The business is located within the boundaries of the community the applicant serves
• The business is located within a traditional downtown, historic neighborhood commercial corridor, or area planned and zoned for concentrated commercial development that contributes to a dense mixed-use area with multi-story elements
• The business sells products and/or services face to face AND has a physical location within a traditional downtown, historic neighborhood commercial corridor, or area planned and zoned for concentrated commercial development (Ex. The business has a storefront location downtown)
• The business will have, or intends to have, control over the site for which they are applying prior to Match on Main application. Please note: changes in the proposed business location after grant selection may result in grant being forfeited.
• The business may be operating as a for profit or non-profit
• The business is headquartered in Michigan

Ineligible businesses: Franchises (including independent contractor agreements), businesses located in strip malls (unless located in an area zoned and approved for future concentrated mixed-use development), “big box” retailers, businesses whose primary sales come from marijuana, CBD, or tobacco, and/or any other businesses deemed ineligible by the MEDC. In addition, the business must not have previously received or been approved to receive support from the MEDC Match on Main Grant Program. A business WILL NOT BE EXCLUDED if they have been awarded a MEDC Match on Main COVID19 Response Program Grant or any other MEDC or MSF COVID19 programs.

What are the eligible expenses which may be reimbursed with grant funding from Match on Main?
A business interested in working with their local community to apply for a Match on Main grant must have a project identified. Awardees will be granted up to $25,000 to reimburse project activities occurring at a permanent commercial space. Expenses incurred must be paid by the business to an independent third party.

A comprehensive list of eligible expenses can be found below:
• Expenses for technical assistance items for design and layout of interior or exterior space, such as conceptual renderings of the interior or exterior floor plan, merchandise layout, other interior or exterior design concepts, and construction drawings, plans or specifications for interior or exterior space activation.
• Expenses for interior building renovation items, including rehabilitation of floors, walls, ceiling, rooms, electrical improvements, lighting and lighting fixtures, furniture and display renovations, installation of permanent kitchen or other equipment, and/or fire suppression or other code compliance items.
• Expenses for permanent or semi-permanent activation of an outdoor space, including a dining area, beer garden, or other place-based outdoor activation deemed acceptable by the MEDC. Exterior signage, doors and windows may be permitted as an eligible expense if part of a larger outdoor space activation project.
• Expenses for general marketing, technology to assist in connecting with customers (example: website upgrades or e-Commerce integration), operational changes (example: shifting from dine in to carry out), the purchase of a point-of-sale system, or inventory expenses for retail goods.

All eligible expenses must be otherwise acceptable to the MEDC.

Expenses that are not eligible include: exterior improvements that could be considered as general maintenance, repairs, landscaping, or other non-place-based outdoor activation, employee wages, salaries or benefits, rent, mortgage, land contract or building or land lease payments, utilities, leases for equipment, vehicle leases, vehicle payments, taxes, interest or insurance, professional fees, federal, state, or local application, licensing, permit or similar fees, bank or other lender financing, interest, inspection fees or costs, credit card processing fees, property acquisition, projects on residential property, or any other capital expenditure (including soft costs) deemed ineligible at sole discretion of the MEDC.

When can a business incur eligible expenses?
Only eligible expenses incurred after the date the application is submitted may be considered for reimbursement under the Match on Main program. Any expense incurred prior to award announcement and an executed grant agreement is incurred at the sole risk of the Business.

Is the business required to obtained third party cost estimates as part of the application process?
Yes. Third party costs estimate must be obtained and included with the application. The cost estimates shall align with the project scope and budget. Third party cost estimates for services shall include the name of the company providing the estimate, address, phone number, email, website (if applicable), scope of service, estimated cost, and date. Cost estimates for products or goods may be reflected by providing PDF documentation of online shopping cart or other similar proof of cost.

Does this grant program require a match from the local business?
Match on Main requires a ten percent (10%) cash match.

How is the grant funding disbursed to businesses?
Match on Main is a reimbursement grant program. If awarded, grantees will submit copies of paid
receipts of eligible expenses that align with the project budget as outlined in the application, for the
total grant amount plus ten percent (10%), within six months of the executed grant agreement.

Business Resources

Interested in opening a business in Owosso? Want to know more about the area? Download any of the quick resources below to help you learn more about the area.

Business Loan Information

Owosso Main Street / Downtown Development Authority is available to apply for loan dollars for projects within the district. Below is the loan information and application.

shiacash logo

We are SO excited to announce our newest economic impact and community development initiative, “ShiaCash".  ShiaCash is a community currency program that is purchased through an online portal with local branding and can be used ONLY at participating merchants. Providing you, our local business owners, a fantastic tool to restart and grow your business. Our area’s large employers spend 2-3% of their payroll on holiday gifts, sales incentives and employee recognition. Our goal is to make ShiaCash a reward that our large employers will use instead of national brand gift cards that have no benefit to our members or community.

The Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, Owosso Main Street and the Greater Durand Area Chamber of Commerce have partnered up to launch ShiaCash, which will:

  • Bring a year-round Buy Local program to our community
  • Be used as holiday gifts, thank you gifts and employee rewards
  • Connect YOU with the area’s large employers
  • Help you acquire new customers
  • Provide a great marketing tool for your business 

To accept ShiaCash, there are no upfront costs or special software/credit card machines to purchase. The program will pay you back 92% face value of the currency! (The other 8% goes to administrative costs and customer credit card processing fees through Stripe.) We will send payment to you every two weeks for the redeemed certificates. This is a WIN-WIN-WIN for our community. 

We are committed to making ShiaCash a huge success as we reopen the local economy. We will market this program to our area employers as well as all of our residents. Our goal is to make ShiaCash the gift of CHOICE in our communities and keep our dollars “at home”. 

Regional Business Organizations

Downtown Historic District Commission

Formed in the fall of 2010, this regulatory commission is responsible for reviewing all applications for exterior work that is completed in within the Downtown Historic District Commission (HDC) boundaries. The link below provides a map that illustrates the boundaries of this district.

The HDC board is comprised of seven members that use the Secretary of the Interior's Guidelines to review permits for work. The historic designation also permits contributing structures within the district to seek additional funding assistance on redevelopment projects through the State of Michigan.

As of 2015, this district is on the National Register of Historic Places.