Downtown Development Authority


Are you thinking about starting a business in the area?  Bessemer is the perfect place to make your small business dreams come true and the Bessemer Downtown Development Authority wants to help!

The Pop-Up Shop program from the Bessemer DDA helps new business owners get off the ground and make their idea a reality! If you want to open a business in the downtown district of Bessemer you could be eligible for assistance on rent and building upgrades.

Assistance available

  • Up to $500/ month in rental reimbursement assistance for up to 3 months followed up by 6 months of reimbursement at 50%.
  • 1:1 dollar match for upgrades with owners approval up to $500.

Contact the Samantha at 906-663-4311 ext. 4 or for more information.

Eligible buildings downtown can apply to improve their exteriors. An outline of the program can be found here. Contact Samantha at 906-663-4311 ext. 4 or at with any questions or to apply.

2024 Meeting Schedule

The Bessemer Downtown Development Authority meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 6:00 PM, unless there is a conflict with holidays, in the Council Chambers at City Hall located at 411 S Sophie, Bessemer, MI 49911.

• January 10th
February 14th - Rescheduled for February 28th
March 13th - Rescheduled for March 20th then Cancelled
• April 10th
May 8th - Rescheduled for May 22nd then Cancelled due to lack of quorum
• June 12th
• July 10th - Cancelled due to lack of quorum
• August 14th
September 11th
• October 9th
• November 13th
• December 11th

All meetings are open to members of the public under Michigan’s Open Meetings Act. This notice is posted in compliance with Public Act 267 of 1976, as amended. The Open Meetings Act, MCL41.72a (2) (3) and the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Individuals with disabilities requiring auxiliary aids or services should contact Bessemer’s Clerk at 906-667-0333 at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled meeting.

Suggested Businesses

The  Downtown Development Authority and Be Bessemer Committee both sat down and brainstormed which businesses may do well in our community. Obviously, we can’t guarantee success, but we thought people looking at owning their own business may find our thoughts helpful. We recommend entrepreneurs do their own research and market study prior to opening a business. This is by no means an end all, be all type list. Bessemer is proud to say that we partner with business owners and also offer tax abatement and incentives for new developers.

Current Contracts


City of Bessemer, Snow removal

City of Bessemer, Staff

Malmberg Properties LLC, Ethnic Commons Camera

Lake Superior Finishworks LLC, Mural Frame

Malmberg Properties LLC and Rachael Hendges, Welcome to Bessemer Mural

Staff Contact

Samantha Dorr, Administrator 

906-663-4311 ext. 4

Board Members

  • Dave Osier, Chair
  • Mark Serwe, City Council Representative
  • Stephanie Matonich
  • Dan Whitburn
  • Karen Stevens
  • Harry Swanson
  • Vacant
  • Vacant
  • Vacant

If you are interested in being on the board, download our application and send it in! Here is a copy of the orientation agenda. There are currently three openings on the board.

Current Savings

The City of Bessemer DDA does not hold on to Tax Increment Financing funds for 5 years or longer.