Thumb receives Brownfields Grant

BAD AXE — A $600,000 Brownfields Grant will encourage economic development and cleanup on contaminated sites in Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola counties over the next three years.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will grant funds based on economic development and job creation potential, said Carl Osentoski, executive director of the Huron County Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

He told the Huron County Board of Commissioners Tuesday to get the word out among constituents to seek out potentially contaminated commercial or industrial sites that could be cleaned up and developed.

“The goal is to put these sites back into active use,” Osentoski said.

Gas stations and dry cleaners were examples Ostentoski gave of former businesses that could be tested for contamination and cleaned up.

Read entire story at Huron Daily Tribune

Local art organizations receive grant funding

The Huron County Economic Development Corporation recently received funding as a regranting agency for Huron, Sanilac, St. Clair and Tuscola counties from Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs.

As a regranting agency, the council of arts grants money out for mini grants and professional development projects in those counties. The applicants are registered non-profit organizations, schools, colleges/universities and municipalities located in the four counties.

The applicants can apply for up to $4,000 for locally developed, high quality arts and cultural projects, which are special opportunities to address local arts and cultural needs and increase public access to arts and culture.

Read entire story here at the Huron Daily Tribune.

I-69 Thumb Region Selects Winner of the Catapult Business Plan Competition

smart shelf win 2

Today, seven businesses vied for the top spot in the 2017 Catapult Business Competition, with Smart Shelf LLC in St. Clair County winning first-place and taking home the $5,000 grand prize.

The final round was held today as part of the 6th Annual Regional Summit, hosted by the I-69 Thumb Region at the Lapeer Country Club. Cash prizes of $3,000 and $1,000, respectively, were awarded to second-place winner Town to Town Gourmet Pastries (Shiawassee County) and third-place finisher Thumb Roast Coffee (Sanilac County).

Read entire story at Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce

Housing Development and Incentives Headline the I-69 Thumb Regional Summit

Housing development opportunities will be a focus the 6th Annual I-69 Thumb Regional Summit when it convenes Sept. 21 at the Lapeer Country Club, 3786 Hunt Rd. in Lapeer.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSDHA) will roll-out a regional report on housing, as part of a panel discussion on housing development, said Janice Karcher, Senior Vice President of Economic Development at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.


Attendees will also hear about development tools and incentives from a panel of economic development professionals, during the half-day summit that will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The day begins with a recap major projects and successes in the region over the past year.

Later that morning, the finals of the Catapult Business Plan Competition will be decided by a panel of judges, consisting of: Dom Holmes, Manager of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Automation Alley; Neal Bishop, Area Manager, Local Government and Community Affairs, International Transmission Co.; and Peggy Nolde, Director, Genesee County Equalization Board. The winners will be announced in the afternoon.

The first-place winners of the seven county-level competitions, held earlier this year, will make their final presentations to a panel of judges at the regional summit. The top prize is $5,000, with $3,000 for second place and $1,000 for third.

The contestants: Happy Little Greens Farm (Genesee County); Simply Enjoyable Snacks (Lapeer County); Imperial Sauces (Tuscola County); Sibling Rivalry LLC (Huron County); Thumb Roast Coffee (Sanilac County); and Smart Shelf (St. Clair County). (The finalist for Shiawassee County will be determined on Sept. 14).

Read the entire story at Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

Automotive Supplier Investing $15M In Michigan Expansion

US Farathane, LLC—a global automotive supplier that serves the automotive industry, including OEMs and Tier 1 suppliersis expanding in the city of Port Huron, MI. The company will invest $15 million in the project, which will create an additional 205 jobs in the area over the next three years.

“The company has been awarded several new contracts to manufacture interior and under-hood components and plans to expand two of its Michigan subsidiaries,” said Jim Gregory,CFO of US Farathane.

Read the entire story at Business Facilities.

Michigan Specialty Coatings, St. Clair, MI – Receives Two National Awards

St.Clair, Michigan – April 24, 2017

Michigan Specialty Coatings, located in St. Clair, Michigan has been recognized with two national awards from CoatingsPro Magazine.  Industry winners were recently announced in New Orleans at the 2017 inaugural Contractor Awards Program designed to showcase and recognize the projects and crews that demonstrate excellence in the field of high-performance coatings.

Read entire story at EDA of St. Clair County.

Ecotourism Symposium at The Willows Ecology Center at Chatfield School

Michigan’s I-69 Thumb Region is highlighting Ecotourism in the seven county Region which includes Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair and Tuscola counties.
Ecotourism can be defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education” (TIES, 2015).

On Thursday, May 4, 2017 there will be an Ecotourism Symposium at The Willows Ecology Center at Chatfield School in Lapeer. Participants will hear from energetic speakers and learn about how to promote and develop ecotourism sites and events that will attract visitors and get locals excited about conservation. The day-long Symposium is open to all and the cost is $20, which includes breakfast, lunch, an I-69 Thumb Region water bottle and optional guided paddle on beautiful Farmers Creek.

To register, or if you have questions, please click the link  or call the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission at 810.257.3010.


Media Contact:
Anna Pinter, Planner III
GLS Region V
1101 Beach Street, Room 223
Flint, MI  48502

P.J. Wallbank Springs, Inc. – Honored as One of the 2017 “Michigan Companies to Watch”

(Port Huron, MI) – P.J. Wallbank Springs, Inc. has been recognized as one of the 2017 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch,” an awards program presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

P.J. Wallbank Springs, Inc. will be honored at an awards ceremony during the twelfth annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business gala event, May 4, 2017 in Lansing, Mich.

Read the entire story at EDA of St. Clair County.

Grants to Support River Cleanups in Eight Communities

Today, the Great Lakes Commission and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced nearly $21,000 in grants to fund river, stream, and creek cleanup events around the state.

Michigan’s Volunteer River, Stream, and Creek Cleanup Program provides $500 to $5,000 in grants to clean and improve Michigan’s waters. Local governments often partner with nonprofit organizations or other volunteer groups for the cleanups, which include removal of trash and other debris from streams and stream banks. Removal of natural materials like fallen trees, branches, and rocks is not allowed to ensure the continued health of the waterway.

The groups selected to receive grants in 2017 include:

  • Macomb County Public Works Office, “Keeping It Clean with the Clinton River Watershed Council” – $4,917.50
  • Huron River Watershed Council, “Huron River Coordinated Cleanups” – $4,310
  • City of Grand Haven, “7th Annual Ottawa County Grand River Cleanup” – $3,000
  • Grand Traverse Conservation District, “Boardman River Clean Sweep 2017” – $2,050
  • Shiawassee County Health Department, “22nd Annual Shiawassee River Cleanup” – $1,900
  • St. Joseph County Conservation District, “St. Joseph River Cleanup” – $1,775.50
  • Barry Conservation District, “22nd Annual Thornapple River Cleanup” – $1,525
  • Calhoun Conservation District, “Kalamazoo River Cleanup & Celebration” – $1,210

The cleanup grant program began in 1998 and is funded by the sale of the state’s water quality protection license plates. Grants are administered by the Great Lakes Commission, under contract with the MDEQ. These grants help foster local stewardship and a sense of community while protecting Michigan’s waters.

For more information, visit