UM-Dearborn recognizes Tecumseh for economic practices

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Mon, 11/18/2013 - 3:42pm 

Tecumseh city officials traveled to a special luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 14 at UM-Dearborn to receive recognition as a community developing an entrepreneurial climate.

City Manager Kevin Welch, Economic Development Director Paula Holtz and Mayor Richard Johnson attended the event, accompanied by council members Gary Naugle, Ron Wimple, and Pat Housekeeper, as well as Vicki Philo, Director of the Tecumseh Area Chamber of Commerce and Jim Van Doren, Director of Lenawee Now.

UM-Dearborn’s iLabs’ eCities research pointed to Tecumseh as being one of eight communities across the state identified for the strategies employed to foster entrepreneurial growth and economic development, according to the annual eCities study. The study, conducted by iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research, identified Imlay City, Madison Heights, Meridian Township, Midland, Mount Pleasant, Sterling heights, Sturgis and Tecumseh for their incentives, innovative programs and best practices geared toward business development.

“These communities are being recognized for the best practices they utilize, which include the right mix of tools and resources for their business community,” said Tim Davis, director, iLabs. “They listen to companies, help them with governmental processes, connect them with other companies and listen to what both new and existing businesses are saying. They are the definition of partners in the process and not just a service provider.

While cities were being considered for recognition, a team from the UM-Dearborn group visited Tecumseh and interviewed and took videos at GLOV Enterprises, Glycon, Blush Boutique as well as speaking with the mayor.

“I think that this puts Tecumseh in a good light for budding entrepreneurs as a place where they can start up, grow and succeed,” said Johnson. He also gives Holtz and the city’s economic development department kudos for their work in this area.

Tecumseh was also recognized as a Five-Star community. Five-Star communities spend a combined $2.2 million on economic development, have 15 percent of Michigan’s population with a professional degree and 92 percent share services related to economic development with another municipality. Tecumseh shared the honor with 28 other communities. The group also recognized 23 cities as Four-Star communities.

The eCities research surveyed 102 communities from 37 counties in Michigan that are home to 36 percent of Michigan residents and 40 percent of its college graduates. These communities count nearly one-third of the state’s entrepreneurs with over $3.2 billion in self-employed income as residents. These communities also had more than $1.8 billion in 2012 commercial construction and account for more than 48 percent of Michigan’s commercial property.

“This annual project makes the university part of the local leader’s toolkit for economic development. We are tackling a statewide concern and analyzing the parts that local leaders can directly impact,” Davis said. “Participating communities can identify best practices and methods they can implement to aid in job growth, economic diversification and development of entrepreneurs.”