The Consumers Energy Foundation is bringing back a competition to provide $50,000 for big ideas in Michigan’s small towns.
The Put Your Town on the Map pitch competition provides dollars for three projects that build strong communities. Communities with a population of up to 10,000 have through Feb. 24 to submit proposals. Up to 10 finalists will compete for the funds at the Small Town and Rural Development Conference, held virtually April 13 and 14.
“The pandemic has created challenges for communities of all sizes, but it hasn’t stopped communities from embracing bold ideas to put themselves on the map,” said Roger Curtis, Consumers Energy’s vice president of public affairs. “Consumers Energy is committed to ensuring Michigan’s communities of all sizes are growing and thriving, and we’re excited to provide financial help to turn original ideas into reality.”
Consumers Energy and the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) will select 10 communities to make their pitch at the Rural Partners of Michigan conference. The top three winners will receive grants worth $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000, respectively.
Consumers Energy created the competition in 2019, awarding Port Austin, Spring Lake and Sparta a total of $15,000 in grants from the foundation. Last year’s competition was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Put Your Town on the Map competition aims to reward innovative ideas that attract visitors to downtowns, focus on housing, education or employment, create community pride and more. Community leaders can learn more and apply at http://cedamichigan.org/rpm/conference-rpm.
The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan — its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2020, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy, its employees and retirees contributed over $19 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.