Financing and Incentives

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Workforce Development

Economic Development Partners


Downtown Development Authorities (DDA) are special tax districts whose boundaries are defined by the community.  Captured tax increments are used to fund development activities and capital improvements in the downtown area.

Escanaba DDA supports economic development on Ludington Street and the adjacent waterfront. Grants may be available for façade improvements for downtown businesses. The DDA has a stand-alone office at 1025 Ludington Street, Escanaba, MI 49829. Contact  DDA Director Ed LeGault or Judy Schroeder at 906-789-8696, email: . Website:

Gladstone DDA supports economic development along Delta Avenue and Lakeshore Drive, including adjacent waterfront. Façade grants are available for commercial buildings located within the downtown district. Contact City Manager Darla Falcon at 906-428-2311, 1000 Delta Ave, Gladstone, MI, 49837.  email:
City of Escanaba Revolving Loan Fund: Escanaba has revolving loan funds (RLF’s) available for those starting a business, expanding an existing business, purchasing equipment for a business, or improving a building that is home to your business. City RLF’s are intended to partner with, rather than compete with, local banks. It requires that you submit a business plan and/or related financial documents and borrowers must personally guarantee loans. Job creation is a priority consideration when evaluating RLF projects. Contact Robert Valentine, City Treasurer at 906-789-7305, 410 Ludington Street, Escanaba, MI 49829,  email:
Airport Industrial Park (Renaissance Zone) includes industrial land available for sale and long-term lease (up to 99 years), with tax savings phased our for 15 years. Taxes abated include Michigan Business Tax, state or city income tax, general property tax, and industrial facilities tax. Tax relief will be phased out in 25% increments over the last two years of the program. Some lots allow gate access for small aircraft to the Delta County Airport. FAA and local restrictions apply. Contact Kelly Smith, Airport Manager at 906-786-4902, email: 

CUPPAD (Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Regional Commission):  CUPPAD has economic development funds and additional business support available based on suitability of individual projects. Contact Executive Director Joel Schultz  for more information at 906-786-9234 or 1-800-562-9828, email:

Northern Initiatives  provides business consulting, training, and loan services as well as administering the UP’s micro-loan program and SBA programs.  Based in Marquette, they serve the whole U.P.  Call 906-229-5571 or visit their website

 Escanaba Industrial Foundation  is a source of financing for businesses who cannot secure adequate credit from local banks. Funds are awarded to industrial operations only, no retail. Applicants may be asked to provide financial statements, explain the intended use of the funds, provide assurance of repayment, and demonstrate that the loan will assist with retention and creation of jobs. Industrial Foundation loans are primarily intended for the Escanaba area, but may include Gladstone businesses. Contact Gary LaPlant at 906-786-6654, 2500 7th Avenue South, Escanaba, MI 49829.

 Community Foundation of Delta County (part of the Community Foundation for the U.P.): Grants available based on application. Visit their website at or call (906) 786-6654. 2500 7th Ave S. Suite 103, Escanaba, MI  49829.

Hannahville Indian Community 2% grant monies:  On a bi-annual basis the Hannahville Indian Community distributes revenue, commonly known as 2% funds, to local units of government through a grant process. Applications are accepted from all local elected government bodies within Delta and Menominee Counties. Applications are ranked by merit.  The Hannahville Indian Community Tribal Council gives final approval to all disbursements.  Government sponsorship of ideas and projects originating from volunteer and non-profit groups are accepted, provided there is clear public benefit. For more information and grant applications visit their website at:, or call 906-466-9933.


Brownfield Redevelopment:  Escanaba, Gladstone, and Delta County have Brownfield Redevelopment Authorities. These boards can help property owners fund cleanup and improvements on sites contaminated by a hazardous substance or pollutant. Delta County Brownfield Authority has some grant monies available to conduct baseline environmental assessments on properties that may have been contaminated by hazardous substances or petroleum. Contact Peter VanSteen at 906-786-9234, email:

Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act:  OPRA allows partial tax exemption for commercial or commercial/residential properties that are designated as blighted or functionally obsolete. Properties within the cities of Escanaba or Gladstone may be eligible. The process starts at the local assessor’s office. Contact Escanaba City Assessor Daina Norden at  906-786-9402 or Gladstone City Manager Darla Falcon at 906-428-2311.


BayBank:   Is a small business and understands the needs of small business owners. It has two locations in Delta County: Gladstone and Escanaba.  Baybank is an approved lender by the Small Business Administration (SBA).  Discuss your small business needs, concerns, and financing options with Tom Fillman at 906-428-4040. 

First Bank Upper Michigan: Offers Commercial Loans, which funds are used for the purchase and/or development of new or existing businesses.  First bank is SBA approved and has branches in both Gladstone and Escanaba to serve you. In Escanaba, contact Todd Maki, President at 906-786-3355.  In Gladstone contact Mark Lektizan at 906-428-3535.

mBank:  Offerrs government-backed loans through the SBA and USDA.  Contact Scott Ravet,  VP of Commercial Banking at (906) 341-8401or

 Northern Michigan Bank & Trust: Offers Term Loans, Revolving Lines of Credit, Letters of Credit,and Real Estate Loans.  Northern Bank is located in Escanaba, MI. Contact a Commercial Loan Officer at 906-786-0221. 

Upper Peninsula State Bank:  OOOOfsdf Offers Term Loans, Commercial Real Estate, Commercial Lines of Credit and SBA Government Programs.  Contact  loan officer, Eric Lundin at 906-789-7000 or

Wells Fargo: Offering SBA-backed, Real Estate Backed and general lines of credit, term loans, equipment loans and real estate financing.  Contact loan officer, Amy Hubert at 906-789-5226 or .

Efficiency United Program: Through the state’s Efficiency United program, the City of Gladstone’s residential and C&I customers can access both prescriptive and custom incentives for energy-efficient lighting, products and equipment upgrades, which includes HVAC, refrigeration, food service equipment and water heaters. Businesses of any size may complete a free online or in-person energy audit.
Energy Optimization Program: Twelve Michigan cooperative and municipal utilities, including Alger Delta Electric and the City of Escanaba, offer prescriptive and custom rebates for both lighting and non-lighting projects for residential customers as well as commercial entities, including nursing homes; places of worship; warehouses; healthcare facilities; K-12 schools and colleges, and government, industrial and agricultural facilities. Contact the Delta EDA for more information at
Other Energy-Efficiency and Renewable Energy Funding Resources: Through power supplier WPPI Energy, the City of Gladstone Department of Power & Light and Alger Delta Electric offer additional programs for C&I customers, including:
  • RFP for Energy Efficiency: This program allows customers to bid for funds through a competitive bid process for the implementation of efficiency improvement projects, either on their own or in partnership with a third-party energy consultant or vendor.  The RFP program is offered three times each year with the maximum of $250,000 available each round.
  • Study Grant: Funding is available to help businesses determine the feasibility of an energy-efficient project.  Through this program, businesses may be eligible for up to $10,000 towards an engineering study that identifies electrical energy efficiency opportunities.
  • New Construction Assistance Program: Design-phase technical assistance to identify energy efficiency opportunities is available to those constructing new facilities or undergoing renovation projects.  Along with the technical assistance, incentives are available for the building owner and the design team to incorporate energy efficient measures.
  • Power Quality Services: Utility staff is available to assist customers with specific power quality problems, as well as offer information and education.
  • Shared Savings Program: Businesses may be eligible for capital to cover energy-efficiency projects up to $50,000, to be paid back with a 2% annual fee.
  • Renewable Energy Program: Customers can make voluntary purchases of Green-e-Energy certified green power.
For more information on the energy efficiency programs available through the Gladstone Department of Power & Light, Alger Delta Electric, and WPPI Energy, contact Energy Services Representative Brett Niemi at 906-284-2298 or


Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC): The MEDC is Michigan’s economic development authority with direct control over resources and programs.  This organization is a partnership between the State of Michigan and local communities. The MEDC provides business resources, Michigan business tax information, Business loans, incentives and more. Funding includes: Small Business Capital Access Program, Credit Union Small Business Financing Alliance, Private Activity Bonds and other programs.  For more information contact Amy Berglund, Business Development Manager at

MI Mezzanine Fund: The InvestMichigan! Mezzanine Fund was formed in partnership with the U.S. S.B.A. and targets investment opportunities in lower middle market Michigan companies. The Fund provides flexible funding options and value-added assistance to help companies reach their corporate goals. Investments are made across a broad range of sectors, including industrial manufacturing, business services, health care, technology and consumer products. For more information visit their website at

MDARD (MI Department of Agriculture & Rural Development):  By supporting growth in our agri-food system, MDARD contributes to Michigan's economic development and diversification. As the state's second largest economic driver, Agriculture is a sector ripe with opportunity for business expansion and job growth.
Contact:  Donna LaCourt, Director of Economic Development, at

MDOT Freight Economic Development Program: To support rail infrastructure improvements that facilitate economic development in Michigan, the Freight Economic Development Program provides low-interest loans that can be converted to grants. Loan Details: 50% of the cost of the eligible rail infrastructure, Minimum interest rate of 2% below the prime rate, Can be forgiven incrementally over a designated period of years if agreed-upon minimum car loading requirements are met. Program Contact: Freight Services Section Manager at 517-373-9027.


USDA:  USDA’s Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan program guarantees loans made by eligible lenders to rural businesses. The primary purpose of the program is to create and maintain employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities. The program is available to existing or start-up businesses and may be used for real estate and buildings, machinery & equipment, term working capital, and refinancing. Ineligible loan purposes include agricultural production. Terms range from 7 years for working capital to 15 years for machinery and equipment to 30 years for real estate, construction, or debt refinancing. Interest rates are negotiated between the business and the lender and guarantees range between 60% and 80% of the loan. Approved lenders can contact Lori Krause at 906-428-1060, ext. 112, email: For more information visit their website at:

The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA): In addition to other business services, the SBA offers three loan programs: 7(a), Microloans and CDC/504 loan program. They also offer connections to grants, venture capital and bond options. Visit them online at
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE): The Department of Energy has three different loan programs to assist business: Section 1703, Section 1705 and Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing. These loan programs support clean energy technologies and they list biomass and biofuels as programs of interest.  Find out more at their website: