Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Alpine Township Recognized for Fostering Economic Growth

UM-Dearborn’s iLabs eCities research recognizes 54 Michigan communities developing a positive entrepreneurial climate
DETROIT, October 30, 2012 – Eight communities across the state of Michigan are top performers at fostering entrepreneurial growth and economic development according to the annual eCities study. The study, conducted by iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation and Research, identified Alpine Township, Grand Blanc, Grand Rapids, Imlay City, Meridian Township, Midland, Sterling Heights and Troy for their incentives, innovative programs and best practices geared toward business development.
Alpine Township Supervisor Alex Arends flanked by U of M Dearborn College of Business Interim Dean Lee Redding on your left and Tim Davis, Director of iLabs on your right.
“The top performing communities understand what small businesses need to be successful,” said Tim Davis, director, iLabs. “The communities communicate with their business owners and provide connections to broader resources and insight on trends.”
“It was such an honor to be asked to serve as one of the judges for the 2012 eCities,” said Merrill Guerra, principal, Guerra Consulting LLC. “This project gives participating communities the unique opportunity to get feedback on the business growth strategies and messaging they have developed directly from their target - business people.”
 An additional 46 communities across the state are also recognized as five and four star performers.
The eCities research surveyed 114 communities from 40 counties in Michigan that are home to 34 percent of Michigan residents and nearly half of its college graduates. More than 125,000 entrepreneurs with over $3 billion in self-employed income call the participating communities home. These communities also had more than $1.5 billion in 2011 commercial construction and more than 70 percent share services with other communities.

“We are pleased to have had more communities than ever from throughout the state participate this year in the eCities research,” said Davis. “This project assists local communities by identifying best practices and methods that they can implement to aid in job growth, economic diversification and development of entrepreneurs.”
The communities were honored at a ceremony at UM-Dearborn on Tuesday, Oct. 30, which included video profiles of each of the top performers. Support for eCities 2012 is provided in part by the DTE Energy Foundation, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) 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, 165 communities across Michigan have participated in the study.
 About University of Michigan-Dearborn
Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, University of Michigan-Dearborn is a metropolitan university serving southeastern Michigan, committed to excellence rooted in strong academics, innovative research and programming and civic engagement. The University has nearly 9,100 students pursuing more than 100 bachelor's, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business and education. A top-ranked university with a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of partnering with local leaders and communities, and is committed to finding solutions for the challenges that face the region.
Beth Marmarelli  313-593-5542

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