iLabs eCities research recognizes 54 Michigan communities

October 30, 2012

eCities Seal 2012 UM-Dearborn’s iLabs eCities research recognizes 54 Michigan communities developing a positive entrepreneurial climate

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.

“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.

Five-Star Communities

* denotes top performer

Ada Township

Ann Arbor Charter Township

Cascade Charter Township

City of Adrian

City of Ann Arbor

City of Auburn Hills

City of Dearborn

City of Howell

City of Kentwood

City of Lansing

City of Midland*

City of Monroe

City of Novi

City of Plymouth

City of Rochester

City of Rochester Hills

City of Romulus

City of Saline

City of Southfield

City of Sturgis

City of Tecumseh

City of Troy*

City of Wixom

Clinton Charter Township

Kochville Township

Marquette Charter Township

Meridian Charter Township*

Four-Star Communities

* denotes top performer

City of Coldwater

City of East Lansing

City of Frankenmuth

City of Grand Blanc*

City of Grand Haven

City of Grand Rapids*

City of Grandville

City of Imlay City*

City of Kalamazoo

City of Madison Heights

City of Marquette

City of Marshall

City of Northville

City of Portage

City of Sault Ste. Marie

City of Sterling Heights*

City of Utica

Delta Charter Township

Flint Charter Township

Grand Rapids Charter Township

Northville Charter Township

Pittsfield Township

Plymouth Township

Saginaw Charter Township

Scio Township

Thomas Township

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 will be honored at a ceremony at UM-Dearborn on Tuesday, October 30, which will include 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.

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