Steven Barnes, who owns Simply Delightful Downtown and is on the board of the Downtown Development Authority says the DDA said they have short-term and long term goals for business development in Cadillac.
“You know, we always are watching what’s happening and trying to, you know, fill voids or fill holes. Make sure that, you know, any space is occupied,” said Barnes.
Barnes said part of the short term plans include building a retail district and bringing in events, driving more foot traffic downtown.
“Bringing more quality events that that help, not just bring customers and shoppers to downtown, but help fill the hotels, Help all the ancillary businesses. You know, anywhere from a gas station to restaurants to you know, whatever. The more people that that we can bring and have stay in Cadillac, it helps everybody,” said Barnes.
He said long term plans include building access to businesses, creating more parking lots, and sidewalks.
Meanwhile the city of Cadillac said they do not have a specific business plan for the development of downtown.
The city manager, Marcus Peccia, said they do have an economic development plan, which is more all-encompassing. He said the city should be thought of as the place to connect prospective businesses with resources, the same way a librarian might help you find the right information.
“There are a whole a whole host of different programs that we would love to be able to help people gain access to and frankly, even make introductions with folks to outside agencies so that they can gain access to even greater programs and incentives if it’s going to help make someone’s dream come true,” said Peccia.
He said Cadillac offers the same incentives that big cities offer through the state of Michigan, but with the small town charm.