Warren, Michigan — Nov 21, 2011 — Fifty-four small and midsize companies from around Michigan have been selected to receive business development support through the Pure Michigan Business Connect Economic Gardening Pilot Program being offered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, MEDC CEO and President Michael A. Finney has announced.
Coliant Corporation was one of six companies selected from Macomb County. Each of the named companies is a client of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development and was nominated for the program by county staff. Overall, the state received 108 nominations from economic development agencies from throughout the state. Eligibility for the program was based on the type and size of market they serve; their growth potential; and the likelihood that they would benefit from services.
"Our six companies represent 11 percent of all that were selected," said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. "We take this as a clear sign that Macomb County businesses are in good position to meet our new economy with prosperity. I'm glad to see the state recognize that capability and invest in their future and Macomb County's future too."
"The goal of this program is to help these second-stage companies grow and in turn, generate new private investment and create new jobs for Michigan," Finney said. "The program is part of our toolkit for economic gardening that's built on Michigan's broad asset base of strong corporate enterprises, innovative entrepreneurs and rich technology resources."
The program will be administered through the Cassopolis-based Edward Lowe Foundation and will include four areas of support: strategy and management; market research/competitive intelligence; Internet and social media strategy; and geographical information systems to help identify potential customers in other states.
"Our experience shows us that second-stage companies exposed to economic gardening techniques grow at faster rates than their peers," said Penny Lewandowski, director of entrepreneurship development at the Edward Lowe Foundation. MEDC's support of the pilot program is exciting news for Michigan's second-stagers and a clear indication of the commitment our state has made to the next generation of Michigan success stories."
Each company's CEO will be paired with a Strategic Research Team for a total of 35 hours spread across all four members of the team. The team works with the CEO to determine the specific areas of need and then supplies the CEO with relevant and actionable information about their competitors, markets and customers. Each company engagement is expected to take a total of two to three weeks to complete.
Continuously adding businesses to the Pure Michigan Business Connect network is what Snyder said will drive the recovery of the state's economy.
"It's about Michigan's comeback," Snyder said at a press conference in Novi on Friday. "The solution is right here with Michiganders themselves." John Swiatek, CEO - Coliant Corp. and Adam Bonislawski, VP of Sales - Coliant Corp. were in attendance and listened as the governor emphasized that "having the best people is most important... it always comes back to talent". The Governor further went on to say he does not like "nice meetings", rather he prefers meetings where there is "no blame and no credit - just solve the problems".
Snyder said the government's role in the recovery of the economy is to facilitate an environment where that recovery can happen. He said the Pure Michigan Business Connect Gardening Program is part of that facilitation by giving startups the tools to be successful.
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