Tecumseh recognized for its strategies on business growth and economic development

By: 
ANTHONY ALANIZ

Tecumseh among cities in Michigan recognized following a study conducted by the University of Michigan-Dearborn Center. Photo by Anthony Alaniz.

Tecumseh is one of six communities across the state of Michigan to have been identified for the strategies it employs to foster entrepreneurial growth and economic development, according to the annual eCities study.

“I’m happy and thrilled with the award,” said Tecumseh Economic Development Director Paula Holtz. She added that what makes the designation so rewarding is the winners are decided by a panel of entrepreneurs who look at not only the city’s data in entrepreneurial growth and economic development but also cities’ ability to explain what they have to offer to new businesses. 

The winners were announced at a luncheon held on Thursday, Oct. 29. Attending were Acting City Manager Joe Tuckey and Tecumseh Public Schools Supt. Kelly Coffin.

The study, conducted by iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research, identified the City of Tecumseh for its strategies, innovative programs and best practices geared toward business development.

“The eCities project highlights how local governments from across the state of Michigan are cultivating and supporting economic development. These communities show how local governments can work in distinct and strategic ways to energize public spaces while investing in businesses and job development,” said Tim Davis iLabs director.

Tecumseh was also recognized as a four-star and “best practice” community. Four-star communities combined had over $475 million in commercial construction and issued 1,796 in commercial construction permits. Additionally, more than 75 percent of four-star communities had shared economic development programs, and half had full-time economic development employees on staff.

The other five communities recognized for strategies, innovative programs and best practices geared toward business development were the City of Grant Blanc, City of Madison Heights, City of Oak Park, City of Sault Ste. Marie and Pittsfield Township.

The eCities study surveyed 66 communities from 29 counties in Michigan that are home to more than 19 percent of Michigan residents and 10 percent of its college graduates. These communities count for nearly one-fifth of the state’s entrepreneurs who earned more than $1.8 billion in self-employed income. More than 60 percent of these communities have a local business database, nearly a third provide business improvement grants, and nearly 40 percent have full-time economic development employees.

 “eCities continues to be an important analytical tool for economic developers,” Davis said. “Through this research, we can identify best practices to assist local communities in successfully attracting and retaining 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, 199 communities across Michigan have participated in the study.

An additional 31 communities also are recognized as five- and four-star performers.

Tecumseh received recognition from eCities in 2014.

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