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November 2, 2016 – The City of Midland has been recognized for its work to foster entrepreneurial growth and economic development in the annual eCities study conducted by researchers at iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research. Midland was honored as one of 44 five-star communities across the state.
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 count for nearly one-fifth of the state’s entrepreneurs, who earned more than $1.9 billion in self-employed income. 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.
“This recognition validates that Midland is an award-winning, pro-business community that boasts an excellent quality of life,” said Midland Mayor Maureen Donker. “Our city is a true partner and resource for business, exemplified by our continued commitment to infrastructure solutions that far exceed traditional offerings in a community of our size.”
“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.
The communities will be honored Wednesday, November 2, at UM-Dearborn. Support for eCities is provided in part by the DTE Energy Foundation, Comcast, Plante Moran 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 public records to assemble a six-factor, 32-item index of entrepreneurial activity. Studied factors include 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, more than 200 communities across Michigan have participated in the study.
Five-Star Communities (*denotes best practice community):
Ann Arbor Charter TownshipCascade Charter TownshipCharter Township of MeridianCity of Ann ArborCity of ColdwaterCity of DexterCity of FarmingtonCity of GrandvilleCity of Madison HeightsCity of MarquetteCity of MidlandCity of Mount PleasantCity of NoviCity of Oak ParkCity of Romulus*City of Sault Ste. Marie*City of SturgisCity of WixomDelta Charter TownshipKochville TownshipPittsfield TownshipPlymouth Township
Note: Five-star communities have commercial constructions worth over $875 million, having issued over 2000 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 and with about 10% of the employed population being self-employed.