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Economic Development

Small businesses account for roughly half of all jobs in Michigan yet are often overlooked in conversations on economic development. SBAM prefers an economic development strategy that relies on “Economic Gardening” and building an environment that supports entrepreneurs and home-grown businesses.

SBAM Economic Development Policy Positions

Economic Gardening

Oftentimes when policymakers pursue economic development strategy, they invest in tools to promote either large employers or high-tech startups. While these tools are important for driving economic growth, they should not come at the expense or neglect of second-stage small businesses, who account for roughly half of the jobs in Michigan. Rather than just attracting new businesses to come to Michigan, policymakers should pursue a strategy that relies on “economic gardening,” and building an environment that supports entrepreneurs and home-grown businesses.

Environment for Success

Michigan should be the best place to start and grow a business regardless of size and industry. Lawmakers must consider the effects of all policies pertaining to small businesses and avoid those that make business more difficult. Similarly, policymakers should support policies that drive business for small employers, including fully funding the Pure Michigan tourism and business development campaign.

Economic Development for Small Business

SBAM supports adding economic development for small business as an explicit part of the mission of the Michigan Strategic Fund, where economic development incentives are approved. Small business must have a continued seat at table of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Strategic Fund to ensure that second-stage businesses can thrive in Michigan.

One-Stop-Shop for Small Business

Because small business owners often fulfil multiple administrative roles within their business, they may not have the time or capacity to navigate the government resources that are available to their business. SBAM supports the creation of a one-stop-shop for small businesses within state government to assist navigation and facilitation of state programs and mandates.

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