Economic Development Overview
The City of Milan’s Economic Development activities are handled through the office of the City Administrator. This position plays a variety of roles within city government and the local community; our mission is to retain, stimulate and facilitate targeted high-wage, high growth business investments that will create quality employment opportunities, diversity and grow the economic base of the area. Enhance the quality of place by taking a supporting role in commercial, residential and tourism development.
The City of Milan has three strategic Economic Development goals:
- Retain and create primary and secondary jobs in Milan which generate new earnings and capital investment.
- Sustain public-private partnerships that provide leadership, involvement and investment for economic development in Milan.
- Strengthen and maximize relationships between Milan and its local, regional, state and Federal partners which create the infrastructure for community and economic development.
The City of Milan has adopted an Economic Development Incentive Policy to promote this process.
The strategic planning process for downtown revitalization began with an opinion survey, which could be completed either online or submitted as a hard copy. The survey identified potential issues and goals, which stakeholder group meetings addressed more completely.
An initial community kick-off event took place on September 28, 2010. This event included a public presentation that discussed the planning process and presented strategies that comparable communities have pursued to improve and market their downtown.
Focus groups took place on September 28th and 29th, 2010, and provided a full day of discussions about the emerging issues and challenges facing Milan. Also, several individual interviews provided in-depth understanding of the community’s emerging issues.
A design studio took place from October 25th to October 27th, 2010 to engage residents, business owners, and other stakeholders directly in conceptual planning for downtown, Pearl Street and the 3rd Street connection. Participants shared their ideas, issues and concerns informally with the design team, and helped define and test concepts for the future of the planning area.
The Plan Steering Committee met at key points during the planning process to review the progress of the plan and make revisions to the draft concepts. Participants of the Logo/Brand Sub-committee provided direction for the city’s new logo design.
A public Open House occurred in March 2011. The open house provided the public an opportunity to review and comment on the development plan before further development and adoption.
Respondents were asked to identify a project they would invest in if they had $500,000. Participants submitted approximately 100 ideas. Top responses include rehabilitating buildings around the square, improving gathering space, and developing a project that targets youth.
With the aid of a very generous donation from Martha Bogard, the city was able to establish a Fade Improvement Grant program for downtown businesses. The grant program took off in Spring, 2012; as of January 1, 2013, over 95% of the downtown businesses have participated and 52 projects have been funded. CLICK HERE to view before and after pictures.
City events in Milan are always well attended and enjoyed by all. The Old Timer’s Committee sponsors a 4-day festival every Memorial Day weekend. The 4-day experience includes numerous activities that are fun for everyone in the family. Past events have included:
- games for children
- rodeo at American Legion complex
- motorcycle run
- bands on Friday and Saturday evenings
- beer garden
- street dance and
- many more exciting events.
The City of Milan has the highest per capital immigrant population in the state of Missouri. The City, in conjunction with the Milan Chamber of Commerce recently sponsored the initial Multi-Cultural Festival to not only celebrate our diversity, but provide an opportunity for local residents to become more familiar and comfortable with a different culture.