New $3 billion initiative invests in Michigan businesses

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A new toolkit for economic gardening

MACKINAC ISLAND–Michigan’s businesses will have new ways to buy and sell, raise capital and connect with each other through Pure Michigan Business Connect.  

The new $3 billion public-private initiative, announced by Governor Snyder with top business leaders Thursday at the Mackinac Policy Conference, strengthens the administration’s economic gardening philosophy through an alliance of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), State of Michigan agencies and major Michigan companies and organizations. 

“Pure Michigan Business Connect is the cornerstone of a new toolkit for economic gardening we are developing that’s built on Michigan’s broad asset base of strong corporate enterprises, innovative entrepreneurs and rich technology resources,” said Governor Rick Snyder. 

For years, growing Michigan startup and second stage companies have struggled with the challenges of finding the right talent and access to capital, said Snyder, who personally helped nurture growing companies in his years as a venture capitalist and business executive. Pure Michigan Connect matches people with resources, strengthening relationships to fuel economic growth. 

Initial program participants include State of Michigan agencies, Huntington National Bank, Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, Stage 2 Innovations, Automation Alley, Export Import Bank and economic development partners who joined with the MEDC in making the announcement at a news conference during the Mackinac Policy Conference, sponsored by the Detroit Regional Chamber.  

The Pure Michigan Business Connect website begins with the following offers from the participating organizations:

  • State of Michigan – Eliminated the jobs killing Michigan Business Tax and replaced it with a simple, fair, flat 6 percent Corporate Income Tax. This jobs creation tool will give companies certainty of the tax structure in Michigan and will level the playing field to allow all business and industries to grow and create jobs. Nearly 100,000 small and medium businesses, including partnerships, sole proprietorships, and limited liabilities corporations, will no longer be taxed twice and will simply pay taxes on their business profits under the individual income tax; and providing training and tools to maximize contract opportunities for Michigan companies through its Contract Connect and other state procurement programs.
  • MEDC – Offering $100 million in economic development incentives, $25 million for entrepreneurship and innovation programs that provide capital and support services to early stage Michigan businesses. Through its Michigan Collateral Support and Loan Participation Programs: offering $80 million to generate an additional $800 million in Michigan bank loans for Michigan businesses.
  • Huntington National Bank – Committed $2 billion in lending over four years for commercial and small Michigan-based companies, the largest commitment to date for the program.
  • Consumers Energy – Pledged to dedicate an additional $250 million over five years to purchase goods and services from Michigan-based suppliers.
  • DTE Energy –Pledged to dedicate an additional $250 million over five years to purchase goods and services from Michigan-based suppliers.
  • Stage 2 Innovations – Private investment group headed by former Chrysler Corporation Chief Executive Officer Tom LaSorda – working in conjunction with Automation Alley – pledged  $100 million for second stage fund for Michigan businesses with innovative technologies to accelerate large-scale commercialization. 
  • Export Import Bank – Committing to work with the Governor and MEDC to more than double the dollar value of its investment deals with Michigan-based small businesses to $187 million by 2015 from $75 million in 2009. In addition, Ex-Im is pledging to do a Global Access for Small Business Forum in Michigan.

Joining Snyder at the announcement were MEDC President and CEO Michael Finney, Huntington Bank Chairman, President and CEO Stephen D. Steinour, Consumers Energy President and CEO John Russell, DTE Energy President and CEO Gerry Anderson, and Business Leaders for Michigan President and CEO and MEDC Chair Doug Rothwell. 

“This is an invitation to Michigan’s business community, companies that have supply needs or funds to lend and those that are looking for new opportunities, all are encouraged to join Pure Michigan Business Connect,” said Michael Finney, MEDC President and CEO. “Transforming Michigan’s economic ecosystem requires the broad involvement of our state’s business community – our largest, most prominent companies along with the newest and least known and those of all sizes and sectors in between – working with local and state economic development agencies.” 

The State of Michigan's Contract Connect website for contracts and procurement provides information on more than 1,000 state contract opportunities, along with instructions on how to register and bid on these contracts. The website also offers the MiDEAL program, an opportunity for Michigan local units of government to benefit from the state's negotiating and purchasing power by permitting them to purchase from state contracts with the same terms, conditions, and prices as the state. 

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a public-private partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. Formore information on the MEDC’s initiatives and programs, visit the Website at 

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a $53 billion regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The Huntington National Bank, founded in 1866, provides full-service commercial, small business, and consumer banking services; mortgage banking services; treasury management and foreign exchange services; equipment leasing; wealth and investment management services; trust services; brokerage services; customized insurance brokerage and service programs; and other financial product and services. Through automotive dealership relationships within its six-state banking franchise area and selected New England states, Huntington also provides commercial banking services to the automotive dealers and retail automobile financing for dealer customers. For more information on Huntington’s business loan program, visit 

Consumers Energy is an electric and natural gas utility serving 6.8 million of Michigan's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties. Consumers Energy will celebrate its 125th year of service to Michigan later in 2011 and is the principle subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS). For more information, visit 

DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include Detroit Edison, an electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan, MichCon, a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan and other non-utility, energy businesses focused on gas storage and pipelines, unconventional gas production, power and industrial projects, and energy trading. Information about DTE Energy is available at   

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private sector export financing at no cost to American taxpayers.  The Bank provides a variety of financing products, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance, and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. capital goods and services. For more information, go to

Stage 2 Innovations is a $100-million fund established to accelerate the large-scale commercialization of proven, innovative technologies in the global market. The fund’s goal is to empower and support the commercialization of innovation-based, patentable technology, and, if required, provide hands-on business strategy and operational support. Stage 2 Innovations was co-founded in 2011 by Tom LaSorda, former president and CEO of Chrysler, and an experienced investor in start-up companies with a proven track record. Information about Stage 2 Innovations is available at 

Automation Alley is a nonprofit organization that drives growth and economic development through a collaborative culture that focuses on workforce and business development initiatives. Automation Alley attracts the creators and consumers of diverse technologies from a variety of industries around the world. The Automation Alley region encompasses the City of Detroit and counties of Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. For more information, go to 

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.