Survey of Economic Development Programs in Michigan
Third Edition
Report 392, February 2016

Introduction

While state and federal agencies offer ample information on economic development programs in Michigan, the absence of a central repository of major programs prompted the Citizens Research Council to attempt such a compendium in 2001. CRC’s Survey of Economic Development Programs in Michigan, (CRC Report No. 334, May 2001), categorized and described over 40 federal and state economic development initiatives, and offered the reader an index of programs and program concepts for ease of use. The updated 2007 publication (CRC Report No. 347, June 2007) built upon this effort by updating the descriptions of the 35 federal and state economic development initiatives still in effect, analyzing 8 new initiatives, and expounding program concepts to further aid the reader.

This, the Third Edition, updates the economic development programs available to Michigan state and local governments. Although a few new tools have been made available to local governments, the major evolution of economic development programs between 2007 and 2016 was the cessation of business tax credits offered through the Single Business Tax and then the Michigan Business Tax.

The Survey of Economic Development Programs organizes the major programs into Federal Zone Programs, Grants or Direct Subsidies, Loans, Tax Abatements or Credits, Financing Programs and Tax Authorities, and Job and Employment Training programs. Programs not befitting these are listed as Other Local Unit Economic Development Options and Miscellaneous Authorities, Miscellaneous Grants and Loan Programs, and Miscellaneous Statewide Programs. These program categories include sundry economic development programs, and non-program, statutory adjuncts that facilitate development activities. It is important to note, however, that several programs could be categorized by more than 1 heading. For example, the Freight Economic Development Program is structured as a loan program, but functions as a grant program if employment targets and other incentives are met by the participant. Program classification was predicated, ultimately, on the primary mission of the program.

These program descriptions are designed to give users a thumbnail description of the programs, an explanation of the eligibility and benefits, and some discussion, when applicable, of the value of the programs. Each description provides the enabling act, major amendments, and a statutory citation. Whenever possible, web addresses are provided to link to more information or program applications on the government websites.

Numerous federal economic development programs are not included here for brevity. These include programs offered by the Federal Economic Development Administration and the Federal Small Business Administration (though the most popular such program from that agency is included here), and various programs offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (with the exception of Enterprise Communities) and Energy. Also, many local and county programs could not be included for the same reasons.

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