City earns Five-Star honor for fostering economic growth
Tecumseh has been recognized for its work to foster entrepreneurial growth and economic development in a study by researchers at iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research. Tecumseh was honored as a Five-Star Community along with 53 other communities across the state. Tecumseh has been recognized several times by the group.“And we’re happy to have the recognition again,” said Tecumseh City Manager Kevin Welch. He said he was unable to attend the event where the award was given out, but Economic Development Director Paula Holtz attended the October 30 event at UM-Dearborn.Tecumseh was among 27 cities recognized as Five-Star communities, along with Adrian and Saline. Twenty-six cities were recognized as Four-Star communities.“This year they collected a lot of data such as building, assessment and construction information then followed up with a questionnaire where they wanted us to ‘pitch’ our city,” said Holtz. “It’s like we were pitching a high-tech growth company about your community and what it has to offer.” Holtz said the material was then reviewed on the various opportunities the city would have to offer a company looking for a home.“This information is great for us to use in our real pitch after we get feedback,” said Holtz. “We definitely like to highlight the fact that we’re a pro-entrepreneurial business climate and try to be receptive to companies that might come here. The process helps us hone our skills to use in attracting business to Tecumseh.”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, according to a press release provided by the Center.A spokesperson for the project said that the group was pleased to have so many communities participate in the eCities research this year and noted that the 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 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.