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Monday, October 15, 2012

MEDC to Help Businesses

Here is a selection from an important article from the Observe & Eccentric Newspapers from Oakland County:

State program aims $8 billion at assisting businesses

Oct. 14, 2012  

Mike Finney, president and chief executive officer of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., is determined to help make Michigan the most business-friendly state in the country.

Part of that effort is the Pure Michigan Business Connect program, which assists participating companies in finding talent, obtaining business analysis services and assisting in locating capital.
Finney discussed the $8 billion program with the Livonia and Farmington Area chambers of commerce at a joint breakfast Friday at Farmington Hills Manor.

The Pure Michigan Business Connect program was developed by MEDC and started in June 2011.
It is a government-facilitated package of services available to businesses in the state. The program is aimed at helping businesses get started and then helping them grow.

DTE and Consumers Energy each signed on with the program and committed to spending $250 million with Michigan suppliers over five years, but Finney said Consumers recently doubled its commitment to $500 million over five years on its own. Finney said Consumers is at $375 million in contracts within the state.

Finney said rather than offer tax incentives, which do not offer businesses cash, the state decided to give businesses things they could use immediately. He said the state currently has tax credit obligations that could stretch all the way to 2032.

“The reality is that tax credits, while they do serve a purpose ... you're essentially mortgaging the future,” Finney said.  Bosch, Rehmann, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Farmers Insurance Group were the presenting sponsors of the breakfast.

Finney said government is playing the role of facilitator by providing the necessary tools to businesses that will help them flourish and companies are using the resources to great success.
“It's critical,” Finney said. “It's having an incredible impact.”

Prior to taking the helm at MEDC, Finney served as president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK (SPARK), a public-private partnership whose mission is to advance innovation-based economic development in the greater Ann Arbor area.  Program called ‘practical.'

Karen Blazaitis, owner and president of Mid American Studios in Farmington Hills, had not heard of the program before the presentation, but said business owners are in need of the kind of tools Finney discussed.

“It sounds like a wonderful practical solution,” Blazaitis said. “When you are starting a business, there are so many things you don't know. It can get overwhelming.”

End of selection.  In my opinion, MEDC is offering an significant assistance.  I hope businesses in Presque Isle County will look into the opportunities to improve their business and seek help from MEDC.

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