National Economic Gardening Conference, June 12-13, in Grand Rapids

Michael Shore

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Pure Michigan Business Connect are hosting the 10th Annual National Economic Gardening Conference

LANSING – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Pure Michigan Business Connect are hosting the 10thAnnual National Economic Gardening Conference, taking place in at the Amway Grand Plaza hotel in Grand Rapids June 12-13. Governor Rick Snyder will present the keynote address at the conference.

“Michigan will host the National Economic Gardening Conference because our state is taking a leadership position in creating a business climate and infrastructure that enables companies to grow regardless of their size or sector,” Snyder said. “This conference will bring economic developers and local officials together with some of the nation’s leading experts and practitioners for in-depth discussions of the best practices in this innovative, strategic approach to growing our businesses and creating new jobs.”

In addition to Snyder, speakers will include Chris Gibbons, director of business and industry affairs at the City of Littleton and creator of the Economic Gardening economic development model, and Mark Lange, executive director of the Edward Lowe Foundation and a leader in entrepreneurism training.

The conference is an annual event held by the National Center on Economic Gardening and is intended for economic developers and government officials who are thinking of starting an economic gardening program, as well as for those who are looking to improve or perfect an existing program. The conference also attracts university and college researchers and instructors interested in the latest in economic development.

Pure Michigan Business Connect, announced by Snyder last June, is a more than $8 billion, multi-year initiative to help Michigan companies grow. The multi-faceted program helps companies find new ways to raise capital, to get access to various business services, and to connect with each other with business-to-business procurement opportunities. The effort includes the Pure Michigan Business Connect Economic Gardening Pilot Program for second-stage growth companies.

“Pure Michigan Business Connect is the cornerstone of our new economic gardening toolkit that’s built on Michigan’s broad asset base of strong corporate enterprises, innovative entrepreneurs and rich technology resources,” MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney said. “We’re pleased to bring the national dialogue on economic gardening to Michigan and broaden the commitment to transforming Michigan’s economic ecosystem.”

The event will begin on June 12 with a welcome reception taking place from 5pm to 8pm. Conference check-in will be available June 12 and will open on June 13 at 7am.  Economic gardening sessions will be held throughout the day until a closing reception from 5 to 6pm.

The cost for early bird registration (through 4/30/12) is $150 per person. To register after April 30, the cost is $175. Registration closes on June 11. Visit here to register:

The Amway Grand Plaza has a block of rooms reserved for conference attendees, with prices starting at $129 for a single room. Reservations can be made by calling the Amway Grand at 800-253-3590.

Conference updates will be available by following Pure Michigan Business Connect (@PUREMIbiz) on Twitter or by following the conference hashtag #negc12. 

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.