Mt. Pleasant is among 22 communities honored for being entrepreneurial friendly.
The annual eCities study, conducted by researchers in the center’s iLab, identifies both five and four star communities that are able to connect businesses with community resources, invest in new infrastructure and equipment to add value to the community and have a large concentration of commercial and industrial activity, which creates an installed base of customers and suppliers.
“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, iLabs.
Five-star communities have commercial constructions worth over $875 million, having issued over 2,000 construction permits. They have more than $29 billion in combined real and personal properties. They have more than $21 million in additions to assets in the past year, with about 10 percent of the employed population being self-employed.
Four-star communities have seen over $342 million in commercial construction, which account for close to 50% percent of the total construction value and 16 percent of the construction permits. They also have additions to their assets worth more than $30 million. 68 percent of their population is over 25 years of age and 47 percent have attended some college.
ABOUT THE 2016 SURVEY
•The eCities study surveyed 76 communities from 25 counties in Michigan that are home to more than 22 percent of Michigan residents and 28 percent with at least a bachelor’s degree.
•These communities account for nearly one-fifth of the state’s entrepreneurs who earned more than $1.9 billion self-employed income in total.
•About 60 percent of these communities have a local business database, more than a quarter provide business improvement grants and more than 40 percent have full-time economic development employees.