New Economic Development Program Guidelines Create Historic Opportunity for Economic Growth Across Michigan

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Michigan Strategic Fund approves guidelines for new programs that will position state to win transformational, job-creating projects in months, years to come

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved guidelines for two new programs – the Strategic Site Readiness Program (SSRP) and the Critical Industry Program (CIP) – that will provide the Michigan Economic Development Corporation with competitive and flexible economic development tools to secure transformational business retention and attraction projects and provide a historic opportunity for growth across Michigan.

These programs are part of a package of legislation signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on December 20, 2021, which will help Michigan support long-term job creation and economic growth in communities throughout the state. The legislation was passed by the Michigan Legislature with strong bipartisan support and robust collaboration from labor leaders, economic development agencies and various business groups.

“These powerful new tools will support our ability to attract highly competitive projects that will create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, back our small businesses and generate billions of dollars in investment in communities throughout the state,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Thanks to the collaboration of business, legislative, economic development, and community leaders, our state will be in a better position to win huge, transformational projects and compete effectively for every dollar and every job for decades to come.”

The Critical Industry Program will empower Michigan to make game-changing investments critical to closing deals, create and preserve qualified jobs, and bring significant capital investment into Michigan by providing qualified businesses with grants, loans or other economic assistance. The Strategic Site Readiness program will also provide grants, loans, and other economic assistance for the purpose of creating investment-ready sites to attract and promote investment in the state, helping ensure an increased inventory of sites to support both current and future projects.

Together, these programs will be funded through the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) Fund, with initial funding appropriated at $1 billion. Among the guidelines approved today is the requirement that any and all projects supported by these programs will require approval from the MSF Board, consistent with all MSF project recommendations and ensuring continued transparency and accountability of public funds. Upon MSF approval for projects through either Strategic Site Readiness Program or the Critical Industry Program, the process for legislative transfer of actual funds through the SOAR Fund will be initiated.

Additionally, as with other developments supported by the MSF, these projects will be required to meet certain performance milestones. If a project does not meet those, the state will be able to recuperate the funds in response and repurpose those funds in support of future projects.

“Taken together, these programs will be absolutely vital for ensuring both businesses currently operating in our state –– and new companies considering Michigan –– need not look to invest anywhere else in North America but Michigan as they look to grow and expand,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of the MEDC and President of the MSF. “These programs highlight how we are positioning Michigan for large-scale investments that accelerate growth in high-paying jobs, retain large customers for our small businesses, and remain at the center of technological change for decades to come.”

Read more about the announcement of the new SOAR Fund programs here.

The Michigan Strategic Fund also took the following action today:

City Club Apartment Redevelopment Project – The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority requested approval of a Brownfield Act 381 Work Plan to support a mixed-use development project in the city of Detroit. The MSF board today voted to deny the request due to the project application’s failure to meet program guidelines or demonstrate the required justification for support.

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.