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Posted on: October 30, 2015

Midland Recognized for Developing Positive Entrepreneurial Climate

For the sixth year in a row, Midland has been recognized for its work to foster entrepreneurial growth and economic development in the annual eCities study. The study, conducted by researchers at iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research, recognized Midland as a five-star community along with 35 other four- and five-star communities across the state.

“We are proud of this recognition, which highlights our continued commitment to bringing new and encouraging existing businesses to grow and thrive in Midland,” said Midland Mayor Maureen Donker. “A key focus of our community is providing a pro-business environment that helps not only Midland, but the entire state.”

Five-star communities spent more than $3.4 million on economic development, had more than $31 million in additions to assets in the past year, and had more than $29 billion in combined real and personal property values. Those communities include:

Cascade Charter Township, City of Coldwater, City of Dearborn, Delta Charter Township, City of Dexter, City of Grandville, Kochville Township, City of Marquette, City of Midland, City of Mount Pleasant, Northville Charter Township, City of Novi, Pittsfield Township*, City of Plymouth, Plymouth Township, City of Sault Ste. Marie*, City of Troy, City of Wixom

Four-star communities saw over $475 million in commercial construction and issued 1,796 commercial construction permits. Additionally, more than 75 percent of four-star communities had shared economic development programs and half had full-time economic development employees on staff. Communities include:

Village of Almont, Alpine Township, Comstock Charter Township, City of Farmington Hills,
Flint Charter Township, Garfield Charter Township, City of Grant Blanc*, City of Grant Rapids, City of Madison Heights*, City of Mason, Charter Township of Meridian, City of Norton Shores, City of Rochester, City of Romulus, Saginaw Charter Township, City of Saline, City of Tecumseh*, Thomas Township, Vassar Township

The eCities study surveyed 66 communities from 29 counties in Michigan that are home to more than 19 percent of Michigan residents and 10 percent of its college graduates. These communities count for nearly one-fifth of the state’s entrepreneurs who earned more than $1.8 billion in self-employed income. More than 60 percent of these communities have a local business database, nearly a third provide business improvement grants, and nearly 40 percent have full-time economic development employees.

“The eCities project highlights how local governments from across the state of Michigan are cultivating and supporting economic development. These communities show how local governments can work in distinct and strategic ways to energize public spaces, while investing in businesses and job development,” said Tim Davis, director of iLabs.

The communities were honored October 29 at UM-Dearborn. Support for eCities is provided in part by the DTE Energy Foundation, Miller Canfield, Oakland County Economic Development and Community Affairs, and UM-Dearborn’s College of Business.

The annual eCities research project, which began in 2007, uses data supplied by the participants, as well as other public records, to assemble a six-factor, 32-item index of entrepreneurial activity, looking at such factors as clustering, incentives, growth, policies, community, and education. The study focuses on entrepreneurship because of its importance to expansion and diversification of Michigan’s regional economies and the impact small businesses have on job creation. To date, 199 communities across Michigan have participated in the study.

For more information, contact iLabs Director Tim Davis at or 313-593-4060.


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