The Downtown Development Authority recognizes the importance of small businesses to a healthy and thriving Downtown…..the heartbeat of our region.

Downtown businesses have experienced unprecedented challenges in 2020. Downtown Traverse City’s continued vibrancy is vital to the overall success of the Grand Traverse region. The Downtown Relief fund was created to support our small businesses and in turn help our community. The DDA is committed to keeping our Downtown safe and prosperous during these trying times and beyond.

Events/Programs for the Fund

Shop Your Community Days

Shop Downtown and benefit 30 local non-profits, as well as the Downtown Relief Fund. The DTCA has generously agreed to match all charitable funds raised over that three day period and donate them directly to the Downtown Relief Fund.

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Strolling Light Parade

During the strolling late parade you will have the opportunity to vote for your favorite display. Each vote comes with a $1 (can donate a higher amount) donation. The proceeds will be split between the non-profit who organized the display and the Downtown Relief Fund.

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Funding Mechanisms

The Relief Fund will be a multifaceted initiative to keep it diversified and engaging for our community. The DDA plans to use modifications to favorite community events, like Shop Your Community Day and Santa’s Arrival to not only keep those events alive – but to increase awareness of the Relief Fund and the needs of our businesses. We also hope to nurture partnerships with community organizations & foundations to create “giving matches” throughout the fundraising campaign. The DDA will be holding an online auction that will showcase not only fund sponsors and the amazing items our local businesses have to offer, but also as incentivize donations. Finally, we have identified and are actively pursuing grant funding through the MEDC and will continue to research other potential grant opportunities.

How the Fund Works

Downtown businesses will complete the grant application available on the DDA website in order to be eligible to receive funds. This application will be created in collaboration with community stakeholders. Once approved, funding will be dispersed directly to the grantee for immediate use.