Planning is critical to building and growing a business, and Downtown Houghton is dedicated to your success. With the MTEC SmartZone business incubator on the waterfront, and centers designed to assist start-up businesses, a multitude of services is in close proximity to help your business thrive. 

Downtown Houghton is a hotspot for tourist traffic, with a steady influx from the nearby universities, Michigan Tech and Finlandia, as well as event and festival visitors, who all play a part in maximizing your business potential. 

Fašade Improvements 

The City of Houghton will provide four free hours of design assistance for downtown property owners who want to renovate their storefront.  The City has historic preservation design guidelines for many downtown buildings.  There may be fašade grants available from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to assist with historic fašade renovations.  If you have questions about fašade improvements, please e-mail


  • Any new business in downtown Houghton can advertise for free on the side of City busses for up to two months.  The business will pay for the sign which they can keep after it has been used on the bus. 

  • Businesses can be advertised on the City of Houghton website.  Please e-mail

Downtown Business Association 

The Downtown Business Association meets the first Wednesday of each month from 9:00 a.m. at the City Center.  The Association plans special events and promotions for downtown.  If you would like further information or would like to be added to their mailing list e-mail

Downtown Parking 

Shelden Avenue (main street) provides one hour free parking for customers only.  All others will be ticketed. 

Side streets and parking decks provide two hours of free parking for customers as well as permit parking.  The City of Houghton asks that people working downtown park in permit parking areas to keep adequate customer parking on Shelden Avenue available.   The City of Houghton Police Department sells parking permits.  Please call them at 482-2121 for more information.