The City of Mt. Pleasant is one of eight communities across the state of 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 Imlay City, Madison Heights, Meridian Township, Midland, Mt. Pleasant, Sterling Heights, Sturgis and Tecumseh for their incentives, innovative programs and best practices geared toward business development. Mt. Pleasant also was recognized as a five star community. Five-star communities spend a combined $2.2 million on economic development, have 15 percent of Michigan’s population with a professional degree and 92 percent share services related to economic development with another municipality.
“These communities are being recognized for the best practices they utilize, which include the right mix of tools and resources for their business community,” said Tim Davis, director, iLabs. “They listen to companies, help them with governmental processes, connect them with other companies and listen to what both new and existing businesses are saying. They are the definition of partners in the process and not just a service provider.”
The eCities research surveyed 102 communities from 37 counties in Michigan that are home to 36 percent of Michigan residents and 40 percent of its college graduates. These communities count nearly one-third of the state’s entrepreneurs with over $3.2 billion in self-employed income as residents. These communities also had more than $1.8 billion in 2012 commercial construction and account for more than 48 percent of Michigan’s commercial property.
“This award shows just how far Mt. Pleasant has come in its economic development efforts,” said Downtown Development Director Michelle Sponseller. “The information provided for consideration of this award was a joint effort by the City of Mt. Pleasant, the Central Michigan University Research Corporation and the Middle Michigan Development Corporation. The collaboration between these organizations is vital in the continued growth of Mt. Pleasant’s economic development efforts.”
The communities will be honored on November 14 at UM-Dearborn. Support for eCities 2013 is provided in part by the DTE Energy Foundation, Point and Pay, 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, 182 communities across Michigan have participated in the study.