Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA)

SmartZone Logo2

What is a SmartZone?

Michigan's SmartZone program began in 2005. Each of these zones is a hub of technological development and entrepreneurship, offering resources to help guide local entrepreneurs to the realization of their businesses endeavors. These centers also foster collaborations between business owners, universities, government entities, industry, and the community.

Our Role in the Sault

The Sault Ste. Marie SmartZone guides individuals through the process of establishing their business. Our business incubator, located on Meridian Street, also provides start-ups with the opportunity to rent office space for their business. The mission of the Sault Ste. Marie SmartZone is to provide high-quality and economical product development services for entrepreneurs and businesses throughout the region by providing access to current manufacturing facilities, business training programs, and skilled industry personnel. The SmartZone is a collaborative partnership between the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Lake Superior State University, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Our SmartZone is only one mile away from Lake Superior State University. With the school's esteemed engineering and computer science programs, the university lies close to the SmartZone mission of advancing technological businesses. Read about Lake Superior State University's Product Development Center.

Annual Activity Synopsis

Through the SmartZone, we provide incubator spaces and connections to support services for high-technology startups.


Local Development Finance Authority meetings are held quarterly on the second Thursday, in-person at 12:00 p.m. at the Sault Ste. Marie SmartZone Conference Room - 2345 Meridian Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783.

You can find information on the SmartZone LDFA meeting schedule, agendas, and minutes via the meeting portal: Agendas and Minutes 

Current Board Members

  • Kristin Collins (Term Expiration 12/31/22)
  • Carmen Fazzari, County Representative (Term Expiration 12/31/22)
  • Angie McArthur, School District Representative (Term Expiration 12/31/22)
  • Don Gerrie (Term Expiration 12/31/26)
  • Fred Smith (Term Expiration 12/31/23)
  • Steven Johnson, LSSU Representative (Term Expiration 12/31/25)
  • Kathy Twardy (Term Expiration 12/31/25)
  • Tim Talentino (Term Expiration 12/31/26)
  • Jeff Hagan (Term Expiration 12/31/26)
  • Fred Molnar, Ex-Officio Member (No Term Expiration)

Financial Reporting

  --> Annual Budget information
  --> Audited Financials

Documents and Links

  --> Sault Ste. Marie SmartZone Executive Agreement
  --> SmartZone Business Plan
  --> Tax Increment Financing and Development Plan for the Sault Ste. Marie SmartZone 
  --> LDFA Headwaters North Agency Agreement


Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The MEDC gives us the authority to operate the Sault Ste. Marie SmartZone LDFA. See the full text of this contract.


Brian Chapman, City Manager
bchapman [at] saultcity.com