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Economic Development (434)

Ten years ago Jeff Padden noticed that "there wasn't much to talk about" in terms of entrepreneurial activity on Michigan college campuses. Today, a cultural shift is in full swing and all of Michigan's 15 public universities have in some form embedded entrepreneurism, both in academic programming and community outreach, as a core part of their mission, according to new survey data.

Business advocates view a proposal to reform Michigan’s personal property tax as another solid step toward improving the state’s business climate and competitiveness.

A low-key but high-powered group of West Michigan influencers and business leaders thinks it’s time to put the rapids back in the Grand. They want to restore a 2-mile-long section of the namesake river flowing through downtown Grand Rapids to attract whitewater enthusiasts.

Stephen Benoit knows unequivocally that his current company would not have been able to start up and get to where it is today without the help of capital from West Michigan.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is trying to dispel rumors by letting developers and community officials know money is still available for redevelopment projects.

Imagine what Southwest Michigan would be like if it were really a bedroom community for Chicago. That could happen if a proposed high-speed rail project falls into place, but experts caution it could be years before it takes shape.

Michigan needs to do less hunting and more gardening when it comes to economic development

Gas price impact on tourism negligible

Written by | Wednesday, 04 April 2012 09:09 |

Even amid high gasoline prices, Michigan’s tourism industry should have a strong year in 2012, Michigan State University researchers say. An annual outlook from MSU projects a 3 percent increase this year in travel volume over 2011 and a 6 percent increase in travel spending. Travel prices should grow 3 percent over a year ago.

The Pure Michigan tourism campaign had its strongest returns and paid its greatest dividends in 2011, as the brand gained further traction nationally and drew more people to the state.

Wolverine World Wide Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Blake Krueger joined his colleagues from around the state last week at the Business Leaders for Michigan CEO Summit in Detroit. His point during a panel discussion: After a decade of tough times, now is a great time to invest in Michigan, which is recovering economically faster than almost every other state in the nation.

John Weiss takes over as head of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council at what he sees as an opportune time to promote greater cooperation among communities and stronger collaboration with the private sector.

The state’s economic decline could very well give way to what Bruce Katz sees as a state that is a leader in innovation and global exports. The Great Recession from which the U.S. is now recovering “was a wake-up call for this country” that requires America to “build a next economy and enable a different kind of growth in the next decade,” said Katz, director of the Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program.

MEDC Talent Resources

Written by | Friday, 09 March 2012 11:00 |

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. under Gov. Rick Snyder and CEO Mike Finney has begun to focus more on talent initiatives as part of both an internal and an external strategy to promote economic gardening in the state.

With scores of jobs going unfilled, unemployment remains high as disconnects between the region’s labor pool and employer needs persist.

Teams create results far greater than any individual or organization alone, so it’s not surprising that many economic development organizations – including some of our strongest competitors – already represent collective regions rather than single units of government.

The Right Place Inc. and Grand Valley State University each envision bringing more partners into the Grand Rapids SmartZone’s operations to better spur new business and job creation, according to responses each submitted to the Local Development Finance Authority’s request for qualifications.

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