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Michigan Regional Prosperity Initiative - Community Growth Grants Program


Building on the success of the New Designs for Growth Community Growth Grants Program, the Regional Prosperity Initiative’s Community Growth Grants Program represents a geographic expansion to include all of northwest lower Michigan. These counties include Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford Counties. This grant program is one component of northwest lower Michigan’s response to the Governor’s state-wide Regional Prosperity Initiative that was signed into law as a part of the FY 2014 budget (59 PA 2013). The Regional Prosperity Initiative’s goal is to encourage local private, public and non-profit partners to create vibrant regional economies through collaboration and local decision making.

Funding for the program is provided by a State of Michigan Regional Prosperity Initiative Grant (Michigan Department of Technology, Management, & Budget) received by the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments with support from the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, and the Alliance for Economic Success with additional financial support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. This program, by providing direct financial and technical assistance support to communities for planning, collaboration, local decision-making for the purposes of action-oriented projects, will enhance our communities’ sense of place and build the foundation for a stronger regional economy.
Grants of up to $7,500 (provided as cash and/or technical assistance) will be made available on a competitive basis to city, village, township, and county governments from the ten-county (NWMCOG/Northwest Prosperity Region #2) region.



The Regional Prosperity Initiative Community Growth Grants Program is intended to strengthen our region by removing barriers and creating incentives for greater public and private sector investment in our region. Successful projects will create the conditions for sustainable and efficient growth and development by implementing strategies that are consistent with local values, community goals, and help to build a more robust regional economy.


Project Application and Selection

All city, township, village, and county governments in Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford Counties are eligible to apply. The application can be for cash and/or technical assistance.
The NWMCOG is accepting applications in the form of clear and concise proposals of no more than 4 pages. Proposals should contain all of the following:
  • Purpose Statement. Summarize the purpose of the project.
  • Background and Need. Why did you to apply for this grant? What is the need for this activity?
  • Project Goals and Activities. In a brief statement, please identify the project goals. What do you hope to achieve? What activities will be completed to meet the community’s needs? Who will complete the work?
  • Participant Information. Describe your community’s organizational structure, including staff capacity and leadership. Who are the partners and how will they participate in the project?
  • Project Area. Please provide a brief description of the project. Maps and conceptual drawings do not count towards page count.
  • Project Commitment. The proposal must include a commitment to provide either cash or in-kind match within one month of project start-up, as well as participate in and/or reporting to the Northwest Prosperity Region’s Growth and Investment Working group.
  • Innovation. Does your program/project incorporate a new approach or methodology?
  • Community Impact. What will be different in the community if your project is successful? How will the outcomes of the project have a long-term community benefit?
  • Performance Measures. How are the impacts of this activity measurable?


An application review committee of the Region 2 Collaborative Development Council (CDC) will evaluate all applications received objectively and with use of a scoring rubric. The success of an application will be determined by its ability to demonstrate a clear linkage to regional initiatives, completeness and clarity of purpose, the likelihood of project success, level of local commitment, and most importantly how the proposal will create the conditions for further investment.
Please note that all grant recipients will be required to provide a representative to participate monthly in the Northwest Prosperity Region’s Growth and Investment Working Group.
For questions regarding this grant opportunity, please contact Scott Gest by email ( or phone (231-929-5091).


To Apply:

Grant applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on April 4, 2014. Please submit applications as Adobe Acrobat .pdf documents (preferred method), to or mail to:

Northwest Michigan Council of Governments
Attn: Scott Gest, Regional Planner
PO Box 506
Traverse City, MI 49685


View / Download a PDF version of the Community Growth Grant information.

View / Download Community Growth Grant Scoring Rubric





Our Township greatly benefits from Network Northwest's experience, depth of knowledge and understanding. Because they work with so many diverse communities in our ten-county region they understand the local land-use issues and are already working on solutions by the time we realize we need some help.

Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission