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Whitmer Announces New Investment to Support 50 Jobs in Tourism Industry in Manistee


September 6, 2022 



Gov. Whitmer Announces New Investment to Support 50 Jobs in Tourism Industry in Manistee

LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the city of Manistee has been awarded $850,000 to boost tourism by upgrading the city’s downtown riverwalk along the Manistee River as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant program. The project is expected to support a total of 50 jobs in the area. 

“This investment to upgrade Manistee’s downtown riverwalk will support the local economy and create or retain 50 good-paying jobs,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “In the last year, we have worked across the aisle in Michigan to make the largest one-time investment in state and local parks in Michigan history, supporting local tourism and recreation driven economies across our great state. Today’s Michigan’s economy is growing, with low unemployment, 133,000 jobs added in the last year, and transformational projects bringing billions in investment and creating thousands of jobs. I will work with anyone to keep moving Michigan forward.”

“Investing in infrastructure is critical to Michigan’s economy,” said Senator Gary Peters. “This grant will help the City of Manistee make needed upgrades to the Riverwalk that are important not only for safety but attracting visitors and spurring economic growth.”

This project will provide safety upgrades and improve access and walkability on the south riverwalk bringing new visitors to the region and stimulating business and job growth. The EDA investment will be matched with $240,000 in local funds and is expected to create or retain nearly 50 jobs and generate $178,500 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“Tourism is a critical economic driver in many communities across the nation,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will strengthen Manistee’s competitiveness as a tourist attraction in West Michigan, resulting in job creation and economic resiliency in the region.”

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in grants to all 50 states and territories in 2021. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

Governor Whitmer’s State and Local Parks Funding 

The Building Michigan Together Plan’s will invest approximately $250 million to help the Michigan Department of Natural Resources address a significant backlog of infrastructure, repair, and maintenance needs at 103 existing state parks. Combined with the Building Michigan Together Plan’s $200 million investment in local parks and recreation facilities, Michigan is investing a once-in-a-lifetime total of $450 million to make parks and recreation resources safer, more attractive, and welcoming for residents and visitors.   

Economic Benefits of Parks  

Parks and recreation facilities are a big part of Michigan’s economy, generating value for surrounding communities, creating jobs and helping sustain small businesses. Michigan’s outdoor recreation industry supports billions in state Gross Domestic Product and sustains 126,000 jobs and over $4.7 billion in wages and salaries in the state.  

On average, every $1 invested in land conservation leads to $4 in economic benefit, meaning the Building Michigan Together Plan’s $250 million investment in state parks will yield $1 billion in economic benefits for families, small businesses, and local communities.

Governor Whitmer’s Infrastructure Funding 

Since Governor Whitmer took office through the end of this year, Michigan will fix over 16,000 lane miles of road and 1,200 bridges, supporting over 89,000 jobs. She launched the Rebuilding Michigan Plan, a 5-year, $3.5 billion investment in our highways and bridges without an increase at the pump. Over 20 projects supporting 22,800 good-paying construction jobs are already underway. She secured funding to repair or replace nearly 100 local bridges in the fiscal year 2022 budget. She also continued Michigan’s partnership around the Gordie Howe International Bridge, a key trade corridor between Michigan and Canada that has already created 2,500 good-paying jobs for Michiganders. Governor Whitmer is rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges with the right mix and materials, so they stay fixed, with skilled workers paid a prevailing wage so taxpayers get the best value for their money.