The Michigan Strategic Fund approved updated tools and changes to two current Michigan Economic Development Corporation programs that are aimed at bolstering the state’s business attraction efforts and provide additional opportunities for Michigan businesses and communities to thrive and grow.
“Jobs Ready Michigan allows us to address the talent needs of companies looking to expand in the state in a targeted and impactful way as part of an overall attraction effort,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “As we continue our efforts to train up our state’s workforce, Jobs Ready Michigan will better allow us to adapt to changing industry demands and prepare our workforce with the skills they need to compete for the jobs of the future. Today’s actions also highlight a commitment to assisting smaller communities and projects in targeted industries, opening up the door for more job growth and economic vitality throughout our state.”
Two new opportunities to support business growth and promote opportunities in Michigan fall under the existing Michigan Business Development Program (MBDP), which provides grants, loans, or other economic assistance for highly competitive projects in Michigan that create jobs and/or provide investment.
The 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.
Several states including Georgia, Texas, and Alabama, 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 utilize 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.
The Micro MBDP 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.
Today’s announcement builds on MEDC’s other business attraction tools including the Site Readiness Program, which is aimed at boosting Michigan’s inventory of available properties ready to compete for business attraction projects, and the Speculative Building Program, which offers several incentives and financing programs to encourage the development of new speculative building projects in Michigan.
The goal of the program is to further add to Michigan’s inventory of high-quality, readily available space for growing companies. To learn more, visit here.
“These new guidelines under MBDP and MCRP programs are the result of feedback both from prospective businesses looking to Michigan for investment opportunities as well as from our local partners,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of MEDC, the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF.
“The end result is a more robust toolkit to allow us to continue our momentum in bringing new jobs, investment and development all across Michigan.”