Sleepy Dog Books – Make It Mt. Pleasant Rental Subsidy Recipient

Sleepy Dog Books, a boutique bookstore, is scheduled to open on May 6th at its 120 E. Broadway Street location. Sleepy Dog Books is the third recipient of the Make It Mt. Pleasant rental subsidy program. Launched in 2020, this grant program is offered to new or expanding downtown Mt. Pleasant businesses.

Fully funded by Lake Trust Credit Union, and administered by the City’s Downtown Development Office, the Make It Mt. Pleasant Program is designed to support new retail, dining, arts and entertainment businesses. The program focuses on first floor commercial spaces within the downtown TIFA district.

Up to two businesses per year are accepted for funding. Selected applicants receive 12 months of rental assistance, not to exceed $4,200, as well as a waiver of City fees and charges not to exceed $2,500. This waiver includes costs associated with building, sign, outdoor merchandising and outdoor dining permits.

Michelle Sponseller, Downtown Development Director shared, “Mt. Pleasant is fortunate Lake Trust Credit Union offers the Make it Mt. Pleasant rent subsidy program and continues to lead by example in assisting new and expanding small businesses.” She added, “Sleepy Dog Books is a model for creating a retail experience while enabling community engagement.  It is very exciting they chose downtown for their store location.”

Riley and Jenifer Justis, owners of Sleepy Dog Books said, “Our May 6th grand opening is planned as a Community Block Party, complete with live music, activities and much more.” They continued, “Through this amazing grant program we were able to take the time and build a bookstore following and community even before the physical opening of our storefront.”

Businesses interested in the rental subsidy program should schedule a pre-application meeting with City staff prior to applying. Contact Michelle Sponseller at (989) 779-5348 or to schedule an appointment.

To download a copy of the Make It Mt. Pleasant guidelines and application please visit: