The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is a funding tool that Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) administers to help catalyze public and private investment in Grand Rapids’ urban core.

To maintain a high level of openness and transparency, the full recording of the live-streamed DDA Board meeting on November 10, 2021, is available on YouTube.

The Board met on this agenda and took the following action:

Authorized Pass Through Funding to GR Community College

The Board authorized funding for Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC)’s workforce training program to prepare individuals for jobs in the field of construction and other relevant public works.

Funds will come from a 3-year grant received to test new strategies for connecting local people to skills training and job opportunities presented by the work required to revitalize the Grand River corridor.

Pass-through funding for this program will not exceed $48,000.

Authorized Funds for Retail Retention & Attraction Initiative

The Board approved funding to continue the Retail Retention & Attraction Initiative through November 2022.

This initiative was established in 2019 through a partnership of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Grand Rapids and DGRI to develop a more proactive strategy to support and attract retail businesses Downtown and throughout the City.

Local entrepreneur and community leader Richard App was hired in January 2020 as the new Retail Recruitment & Retention Specialist to lead this effort.

Since his hiring Mr. App helped businesses navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic, participated in multiple event and marketing activities and helped deliver and activate 13 new Downtown businesses.

Mr. App in 2022 will focus on outreach and communication to ensure existing businesses have the resources and information needed to be successful.

The Board approved DDA funding not to exceed $50,000.