By Mike Kruzman /

The Village of Fowlerville has extended its contract with an area-organization that promotes business growth and talent retention.

Through Ann Arbor SPARK, the Economic Development Council of Livingston County works to bring new business into the county while supporting those that are operating.

At the latest meeting of Fowlerville Village Council, SPARK Director of Business Development for Livingston County, Marcia Gebarowski shared with Council how 2020 went and a little of what to expect in the coming year. She said the highlight for last year was the RESTART Grant, that brought over $1.5-million to local businesses. 153 businesses in Livingston County received $10,000 each from the grant, including 6 from the Village. Gebarowski said that the surpassed a requirement that one-third of those grants be awarded to women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned buisnesses.

This grant funding allowed for 860 jobs to be saved and has seen those that received awards commit to rehiring 230 more workers. Livingston County is also slated to receive $800,000 through the small business survival grant program that began last week that will be distributed by SPARK. Following the presentation, Village Council voted unanimously in favor of renewing their contract with SPARK and the EDCLC for 3 years. Their investment each year will be $2,500. To get to that total, the Village and the Downtown Development Authority will contribute $667 each, with the Local Development Finance Authority chipping in the remaining $1,166.