MEDC announces 5 new business initiatives to expand 'economic gardening toolkit'
Pure Michigan Business Connect — a multibillion-dollar public-private initiative created last year by Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation — is launching five new programs to aid business growth in the state.
The MEDC announced the initiatives at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinaw Policy Conference this week.
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The initiatives “significantly expand our economic gardening toolkit to grow our state’s economy” by providing ways for companies to collaborate and take advantage of growth opportunities, MEDC CEO Michael Finney said in a press release.
The Pure Michigan Business Connect program, which Snyder announced at the 2011 Mackinaw Policy Conference, encourages companies to spend more money in Michigan and helps businesses get additional capital to grow. The program has generated about $8 billion in commitments — more than double the original $3 billion goal.
In 2011, Ohio-based Huntington Bank promised to boost its lending to small- and mid-sized Michigan businesses by $2 billion over four years, while Fifth Third Bank made a $2.5 billion business lending commitment for 2012 as part of the initiative.
The five new initiatives include:
- Develop Michigan Inc.: A $20 million, non-profit public-private partnership to help bring financing tools and financial expertise to community redevelopment projects.
- Grow Michigan LLC: A public-private partnership that provides equity features to help companies finance aggressive-growth strategies, restructure and assist in ownership transition through succession or acquisition
- Michigan Corps/Kiva.org: A microloan program — initially focused on the city of Detroit — to link individuals willing to lend small sums of money with prospective small business owners who will use the funds to build businesses that improve the overall health of the community.
- Pure Michigan Business Connect business-to-business (B2B) network: Web-based system that links companies together, including a directory of Michigan businesses and an online procurement marketplace.
- State Trade Export Program (STEP) and Export Now: STEP provides financial assistance for companies with fewer than 500 employees for export-related activities. Export Now is an online platform for consumer-product companies in the state to sell their products directly to Chinese consumers.