Some cities in our area will soon be getting major improvements.


The Department of Commerce has now selected the communities to receive funding from the Main Street Initiative and Partners in Planning grants.

The grants are meant to support nonprofit organizations and local governments for both comprehensive and economic development plans, with the goal of enhancing the local economy and overall quality of life.


The department says the funds will help create new plans for economic and workforce developments that bring both beauty and economic success to the area.

“What we try to do is help communities find their best selves,” explains Shawn Kessel, the Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the ND Department of Commerce. “We try to address four different pillars- that includes infrastructure, vibrancy, workforce, and economic diversity. We work with communities in those areas by going out and visiting, and then providing resources, expertise, connection with other state agencies and grant funding to try and help them become their best selves.”

North Dakota received 12 applications in total from communities and regions across the state. The seven communities have been selected to receive the grant funding, totaling almost $170,000.

  1. City of Thompson: $25,000 for phase I of a comprehensive plan.

2. Hazen Community Development: $29,587 for a diversification strategic and comprehensive plan.

3. Underwood Area Economic Development Corporation: $22,500 for the creation of a city comprehensive plan.

4. Carrington Economic Development Department: $22,500 for a diversification strategic plan.

5. City of Hettinger: $30,000 for a city comprehensive plan.

6. City of Gwinner: $22,500 for a comprehensive plan.

7. Bismarck-Mandan Chamber Economic Development Corporation: $15,000 for an economic development strategic plan.