All the news that is news for the month of December
Downtown Business Updates
- Construction continues for the Weiss Distillery, 34 E. 14 Mile and Broadway Square (ACE Development)
- 84 W. 14 Mile, the former Lim’s Palace, has received full site plan approval. The new business will be a restaurant featuring sushi and seafood dishes.
- Businesses are doing the best that they can with the current restrictions. Many restaurants offering weekend family meals and pre-ordering of holiday meal packages
- Retail sales – Leon & Lulu, Hips and The Yarn Stop have successfully adapted using social media with video and live sales events
- New Emergency Order was issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) placing new restrictions businesses, gatherings and schools and is in effect until January 15
- The December monthly payment of Sales, Use and Withholding tax is delayed, until January 20, for businesses in entertainment, recreation and restaurants that depend on indoor dining.
Grant Updates; CARES Act
Oakland County announced the final County program to use the remaining federal CARES Act funding. $10 million will be divided into three categories:
$7 million will be divided among the businesses that earlier received grant funds through the Oakland County Stabilization, Recovery or Restart Grants. Businesses that received grants through those programs were already vetted during the earlier application processes and don’t have to reapply. Checks will be sent automatically to the earlier recipients. The funds can be used to cover expenses for perishable food, rent, mortgage payments and labor costs. This grant funding is targeted for restaurants that received the earlier grants
$2 million from the county’s general fund will be used to help some restaurants and bars adapt for outside service. The county is acquiring weatherization products such as greenhouse-type structures, electric heaters, propane heaters, propane and other items to expand outside dining options. (The DDA has already submitted requests for these items)
$1 million to help businesses reopen safely. The county will acquire personal protective equipment, hand sanitation stations and computer software which businesses can use to contract trace customers who have been or may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
Applications for the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative (PMSBRI) were accepted beginning at 9am on December 15. Grants up to $15,000 will be awarded from a state pool totaling $10 million. Eligible businesses are recreation, entertainment and indoor dining restaurants.
- The DDA held two Informational Meetings in the month of December keeping the DDA compliant with Michigan law which requires such meetings per calendar year with the purpose of informing the public of the goals and direction of the organization.
- City Council passed an ordinance to update the Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) plan through December 31, 2040
- Upon the resignation of Drew Benson from the Building Department, Joan Horton has agreed to act as the Interim Planning & Zoning Coordinator while city administration reviews the needs of the department.
Committee Updates: Promotion/Business Development
- Downtown Clawson Dollars program was launched on Nov. 27 with $2,500.00 from the Clawson DDA to enhance the program with Bonus Dollars and to pay the transaction fees normally charged to purchasers. No costs are incurred by businesses to participate and currently over 20 downtown businesses are accepting the gift cards. The DDA dedicated $5,000.00 for the length of the program.
- At the first of the year businesses will be reminded and encouraged to activate their business in the Downtown Clawson Mobile App. The DDA has signed up with Distrx for this no cost mobile business directory and promotional tool
- We owe thanks to Christina Anderson, property owner of the former Moose Winooski, for the donation of Christmas trees, tree stands and lights that made Adopt a Tree a possibility. Many thanks also to Clawson Fire Chief Troy Engel for making the cement tree bases and placing the trees on the street. And, final thanks to the community volunteers that embraced the idea and decorated the dozen trees.
- Our first year has taught us what we need to know to bring this program back even better next year!
- Thanks are also extended to Jeremy Hengy and his father Larry for building the Santa sleigh that was placed at the clock tower for holiday photos.
We are looking forward now to January and February (Valentines) promotion ideas. Suggestions are gladly accepted!
Seasons Greetings to All and we join together in wishing for a Happy New Year!