eCities annual study recognizes 206 communities in Michigan

October 21, 2020

Researchers focused on the five-year changes in property values, community assets, tax rates and cost of doing business within the community.

Graphic for eCities
Graphic for eCities

If you are looking for entrepreneurial growth and innovation in Michigan, eCities, the annual research project conducted by iLabs, UM-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research, has a list of 206 communities for you to check out.

The communities, located throughout all corners of the state, are recognized with four and five stars for their efforts that influence entrepreneurship, economic development and job growth. 

“Each year, the eCities project aims to highlight the successes and continued commitment of cities and townships to grow business and support entrepreneurship within their communities,” said Kari Kowalski, iLabs project manager.

The eCities study analyzed publicly available data from 277 communities from 54 counties in Michigan. Researchers focused on the five-year changes in property values, community assets, and tax rates, which can demonstrate the growth, investments, and cost of doing business within the community. For example, over the five-year period of 2015-2019, these communities increased their capital assets by an average of 2.4 percent per year by investments such as library equipment, building, water, and sewage improvements, and street renovations, while property tax rates increased by less than 1 percent on average per year.

Although accounting for less than 20 percent of the State’s cities and townships, the 277 communities analyzed are home to 70 percent of Michigan’s population and 87 percent of the state’s commercial property.

Local communities who participate in the project receive benchmarking reports showing their performance at creating inviting business environments and encouraging entrepreneurial growth. The focus of the project is to learn and share community success stories to attract entrepreneurial development and create business growth. Understanding these success stories, or best practices, and utilizing these concepts across Michigan can positively impact the state’s economic future.