Cheboygan Hopes to Grow with New Main Street Program Designation

The city of Cheboygan just became Northern Michigan’s newest Main Street Program participant.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation runs the program, they accepted Cheboygan as a Select-Level Main Street community.

It’s a designation city officials and dozens of volunteers have been working to get for several years now.

Now that they have it, they are hopeful it can change the landscape of the downtown and the future of Cheboygan.

“There’s some great things happening in Northern Michigan and we are just really excited to be a part of that family,” Downtown Enhancement Admin Kirsten Guenther, said.

The Main Street program has proven successful in many Northern Michigan communities, like Boyne City, Charlevoix, Sault Ste. Marie and Grayling.

Cheboygan thinks it can help their city now turn the tide.

“When you have a solid downtown core, it’s going to trickle out to help your entire community and we are just really excited,” Guenther, added.

Excited to get help filling some of the vacant buildings downtown.

“In a four block area we still have six vacant buildings. Our hope is we are going to fill every building downtown and bring new residents to downtown,” Cheboygan City Manager Tom Eustice, said.

Eustice says Cheboygan has seen a decline over the past two decades.

“Traditional downtowns like we have here in the city of Cheboygan have struggled over the last 15 to 20 years. The transition of big box stores and [rise of] other internet-type businesses have significantly hurt downtowns,” Eustice, explained.

But with tools provided by the Main Street program, there’s now hope for new development in all areas.

“Main Street tries to change that culture of downtown and try to get new business development in our community. It is going to help us grow that’s what it’s all about,” Eustice, added.