---- — The greatest need and opportunity is in retail, entertainment and recreational sectors, and these are recommended to offset job losses in manufacturing, particularly among tool & die companies. Retail is a priority over recreation because it has the ability to generate the most jobs and revenues.
Retail recruitment should focus on traditional, discovery types of shops within the existing traditional downtown, or the two-block district along the west side of South Cedar Street and between 3rd and 5th streets.
Several of the original buildings (downtown) are two levels and stamped with original dates back to 1908, which helps convey a clear historic district.
One of the most important strategies for Kalkaska is the recruitment of seeded small businesses and cottage industries to fill commercial space in the downtown and throughout the village.
Many of these businesses are essentially invisible to potential customers and operating in a residential unit not originally intended for commercial.
In today's tough economy, attracting existing businesses to downtown Kalkaska will require an attractive incentive package.
Potential incentives include free Chamber of Commerce membership for the first year; media releases; access to computer, internet services and a small business advisor through Michigan Works!; access to a low-interest (1 percent) small business loan at local banks and lending institutions; participation in a three-year property tax rebate program; participation in a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone with reduced taxes on new space; and participation in a local matching grant façade program.
-- Source: Downtown & Economic Growth Strategy for The Village of Kalkaska. Prepared by LandUse/USA