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Sault Ste. Marie tribe awarded grant to build facility for new businesses

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The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians |@saulttribe
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The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has been awarded $2 million dollars in grant funding from the Department of Commerce to build a manufacturing and warehouse facility. 

 

 

 

The estimated budget for the project is $2.35 million dollars. According to the Department of Commerce, the grant has been matched by 350 thousand dollars in local investments to fund the project. 

 

Joel Schultz, Executive Director of Economic Development for the tribe said the facility will be tribally owned and operated, leasing to business owners with or without tribe affiliations. 

 

He said there are more than forty thousand members of the Sault Tribe, many of them are successful business people who have left the area for business. 

 

“As we reach out and connect to try to attract businesses back to our region and onto our lands, we have this gap of not having facilities and properties identified, and infrastructure in place to meet their needs,” Schultz said. 

 

Schultz said the tribe works with the local community to develop the economy for their region. He said this project is a collaborative effort to bring business to the area. 

 

“Sometimes in general, it gets tribes versus local communities,” Schultz said. “I think it is important for all of us to keep in mind this is a project that benefits the entire region, not just the Sault Tribe. It gives us a vertical asset that can attract enterprises and jobs to the region and to the area.”

 

Schultz said the space will create a professional landscape to attract business and he said he hopes to be a leader in economic development for the region. 

 

He said the goal is to break ground on the project this fall. 

Tess DeGayner is a student reporter for WCMU News. She is a senior at Central Michigan University studying Journalism and Broadcasting. Her hometown is Fenton, Michigan.