Stevensville brewery gets $22K from Michigan to expand beer garden

Watermark Brewing Company

STEVENSVILLE, Mich. -- On Tuesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Michigan Economic Development Corporation's Match on Main program grants were awarded to 31 small businesses across the state, one of which is Watermark Brewing Company in Stevensville.

“Michigan’s small businesses are the beating hearts of our main streets and downtowns,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Today’s Match on Main grants will create 76 good-paying jobs and provide 31 small businesses across Michigan with the support they need to grow and thrive. Together, we are growing our economy and making communities across Michigan more attractive to live, work, and invest. Let’s keep working together to ensure anyone can ‘make it in Michigan.”

In Stevensville, a $22,157.36 grant was awarded to Watermark Brewing Company to help them expand their beer garden.

The development is set to transform a pre-existing blight property, enhancing the local downtown corridor and boosting the area’s appeal.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support provided by the Match on Main grant,” said Co-Founder of Watermark Brewing Company Chris Mason. “This expansion allows us to retain and potentially increase our workforce, ensuring that we continue to play a vital role in Stevensville’s thriving business community. Moreover, it positions Stevensville as a key destination for beer enthusiasts and tourists, further boosting the local economy.”

Total funding for the grants is $748,018.82 with the expectation that the projects will create 76 full-time jobs and activate 8,835 square feet of vacant and underutilized space, with the individual projects expected to generate a total private investment of more than $2.7 million.

“Match on Main is an important tool for place-based small businesses and communities across Michigan and serves as a catalyst in driving small business investment and growth opportunities,” said Amy Rencher, Senior Vice President of Small Business Services at MEDC. “Through the Match on Main Program, we’re not just investing in small businesses; we’re revitalizing communities and fostering economic growth one entrepreneur at a time.”

State officials say that of the 31 grant recipients, 22 businesses are located within Geographically Disadvantaged Areas, eight are new businesses, and 23 are existing businesses which include 15 restaurants, nine retail establishments, five service businesses and two other businesses that demonstrate a commitment to revitalizing community infrastructure and boosting local employment.

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