Stories indexed with the term ‘Spark East’

“Obama Bucks” Boost Eastern Washtenaw

Layers of history are preserved on the wall of Spark East in downtown Ypsilanti.

Layers of history are preserved on the wall of SPARK East in downtown Ypsilanti.

On Friday, May 8, the renovated Ypsilanti storefront that houses SPARK East will be open to the public for a look at the business services offered there. The event is part of a larger economic development effort on Washtenaw County’s east side, an effort that’s getting a boost from federal stimulus funding – or what one county official called “Obama bucks.”

Last Thursday, about 40 members of the Eastern Leaders Group got an overview of the 2009 Recovery and Reinvestment Rapid Response Strategy Business Plan, which had been approved by the ELG executive committee in mid-April. Held at the brick-walled SPARK East office on Michigan Avenue, the meeting covered a lot of ground, from neighborhood revitalization efforts to a plan for microloans to businesses.

The Chronicle dropped by to hear about the plan too. Though the meeting was decidedly forward looking, there was an element of history at SPARK East as well – more on that later. We’ll start with a look at the three main topics covered on Thursday: 1) business development and employee training, 2) microloan programs, and 3) community revitalization and stabilization plans. [Full Story]