State launches new economic development efforts

LANSING–The Michigan Economic Development Corp. Announced two new economic development efforts under the existing Michigan Business Development Program, which provides grants, loans, and other economic assistance for projects in Michigan that create jobs.

The new Jobs Ready Michigan Program is designed to provide grants for business expansion and location projects that lead to job creation and investments in Michigan that have a demonstrated training need, particularly in pursuing new opportunities for high-tech, high-demand, and high-wage jobs.

State officials say Georgia, Texas, and Alabama, states that compete heavily with Michigan in key industries for business attraction projects, have established standalone training funds that provide businesses an on-demand incentive to choose those states as their next location. Funding under this program will allow Michigan to better compete for business attraction and expansions projects where talent needs are a major factor in the decision process.

MEDC will use up to $10 million from existing MBDP appropriations for the Jobs Ready Michigan Program to better compete on business attraction efforts and meet needs of businesses on a project by project basis. ’

Also new is a program called Micro MBDP, which is designed to promote business growth, especially in rural areas or areas with high unemployment as well as target industries. The Micro MBDP will provide grants, loans, or other economic assistance to businesses for highly competitive projects in Michigan that have fewer job creation numbers than required by the original MBDP guidelines.

The Michigan Community Revitalization Program provides grants, loans or other economic assistance for projects that contribute to Michigan’s reinvention as a vital, job generating state by fostering redevelopment of functionally obsolete or historic properties, reducing blight, and protecting the natural resources of the state. The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved changes to the MCRP guidelines will now allow qualified projects located in communities with a population of 15,000 or less to receive a need-based MCRP award of up to 50 percent of the project’s eligible investment.

Previously, the program had limited capacity to fill financing gaps in smaller communities due to construction costs and constrained market conditions, making it prohibitive for those types of projects to qualify for support. The new guidelines will encourage more job growth in these communities and bring more residents and businesses to the downtowns. The amendment will allow MSF to approve a greater number of redevelopment projects in small towns.

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