• Thursday, November 13, 2014

    UM-Dearborn’s iLabs’ eCities Research Recognizes Midland for Developing Positive Entrepreneurial Climate

    Midland is one of six communities across Michigan identified for the strategies they employ to foster entrepreneurial growth and economic development, according to the annual eCities study.

    The study, conducted by iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research, identified the Village of Almont, Delta Charter Township, City of Madison Heights, City of Midland, City of Saline, and City of Sault Ste. Marie for their incentives, innovative programs, and best practices geared toward business development. Midland also was recognized as a five-star community.

    “This recognition speaks of our commitment to bringing new and encouraging existing businesses to grow and thrive in Midland,” said Midland Mayor Maureen Donker. “Our focus is on providing a pro-business environment that helps not only our community, but all of Michigan.”

    An additional 28 communities also are recognized as five- and four-star performers.

    Five-Star Communities (*denotes best practice community) Five-star communities spent a combined $2.6 million on economic development, had more than $140 million in additions to assets in the past year, and had more than $19 billion in combined real and personal property values. Communities include:
    • Ann Arbor Charter Township
    • City of Ann Arbor
    • City of Auburn Hills
    • City of Dearborn
    • Delta Charter Township*
    • City of Grand Blanc
    • City of Grandville
    • Kochville Township
    • Marquette Charter Township
    • City of Midland*
    • City of Northville
    • Plymouth Township
    • City of Plymouth
    • City of Rochester Hills
    • City of Sault Ste. Marie*
    • City of Wixom

    Four-Star Communities (*denotes best practice community) Four-star communities combined for over $11 billion in construction, issued more than 1,800 commercial construction permits, and spent more than $3.5 million in economic development. Communities include:

    • Cascade Charter Township
    • City of Coldwater
    • City of Livonia
    • City of Madison Heights*
    • City of Mason
    • City of Novi
    • City of Marquette
    • Charter Township of Meridian
    • Northville Charter Township
    • City of Rochester
    • City of Romulus
    • City of Saline*
    • Scio Township
    • City of Southfield
    • City of Sterling Heights
    • City of Tecumseh
    • City of Woodhaven

    The eCities research surveyed 83 communities from 30 counties in Michigan that are home to 26 percent of Michigan residents and 33 percent of its college graduates. These communities count nearly one quarter of the state’s entrepreneurs with more than $2.6 billion in self-employed income as residents. These communities also had more than $12.3 billion in 2013 commercial construction and account for nearly a third of Michigan’s commercial property.

    “We are seeing the nature of economic development evolving, and eCities is a tool to help local governments demonstrate their role in the changing economy,” said Tim Davis, director, iLabs. “These governments are supporting unique and innovative efforts locally, while collaborating regionally to help Michigan business compete in an everchanging business climate.”

    The communities are being honored today, Thursday, November 13, 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, 197 communities across Michigan have participated in the study.

    For more information, contact Libby Richart, City of Midland, 989-837-330