By: Joshua Sampson, Staff Writer
A fund has been set up for Boyne City businesses and projects that may need extra assistance.[private]
The Boyne Area Development Fund was allocated through the Charlevoix County Community Foundation, and it will be used to help economic development, business retention and business recruitment around Boyne City. “It came from meetings we had with Team Boyne,” said Hugh Conklin, director of the Main Street Program. “It has been an idea that has been talked about for some time.”
The first project that will be assisted is Landmark Development for striving to acquire grants from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to redevelop the Dilworth Hotel in downtown Boyne.
Going off of a “pay it forward” attitude, Landmark Development will reimburse the fund so that it can be used to help a business in the future. “The thought was that we could set this fund up and it could assist the community,” Conklin said. “It is kind of useful to solve short-term problems.” The fund has currently accepted donations amounting to $4,700; this includes a donation from the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce as well. “Our board just heard about it at our last meeting and decided it was a great idea,” said Jim Baumann, Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. “We donated $1,000 in support of it.” Conklin said currently nobody is soliciting funds for the project, but rather, the development fund runs off of charitable donations.
“This is something that we wouldn’t solicit but we would allow … people to donate to the fund,” Conklin said. “We want to make it aware to the community what we are doing.” Conklin went on to say the long-term goal is to have resources available to help move a project along – this means there is no cap to how much money the development fund can acquire for assisting projects. “It may grow to create other opportunities – there could be great potential. We just need to address short-term needs right now,” said Conklin. The business recruitment aspect of the development fund relates to the ability to bring business to Boyne City.
If there are empty retail spaces available for business, said Conklin, then business recruitment might be able to help fill that spot and, in turn, make Boyne City more profitable. According to Conklin, longtime Boyne City businesses suffering from an economic downturn may also benefit from the fund.
“We want people to know that it is a worthy investment for the community,” Conklin said For right now, the fund is being used to handle projects that are in need of immediate aid, and the hope is that the development fund will be a successful venture for Boyne City’s future.
Donations to the fund should be made payable to the Charlevoix County Community Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 718 East Jordan, MI, 49727.[/private]