Michigan Strategic Fund Grants $4.5M for Amazon Fulfillment Center, Greenlights Good Jobs For Michigan Program

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The Michigan Strategic Fund, a division of Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), has approved funding extensions for four state programs aimed at supporting entrepreneurs. The grant extensions represent the MEDC’s continued commitment to building entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth throughout the state.

The approved grant extensions include the following:

  • The Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) program, Life Sciences Innovation Hub at the University of Michigan Fast Forward Innovation
  • Invest Michigan Pre-Seed Fund II
  • The Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Technology Consulting Services (TCS) program

“The extension of funding for programs that provide resources to support our entrepreneurial community is pivotal as we continue to use innovation to spur our business economy and make Michigan a premiere state for startups to build and grow their business,” says Fred Molnar, vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation at MEDC.

MEDC’s entrepreneurship and innovation initiative encourages entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses here by providing high-tech start-up companies with access to a variety of critical resources, including funding and expert counsel from ideation to maturation. More information on MEDC’s entrepreneurship and innovation can be found here.

MSF also announced a $4.5 million performance-based grant in support of Amazon’s capital investment of a third fulfillment center in Michigan in less than one year. Amazon plans to invest $40 million in a new one million-square foot fulfillment center in Shelby Township, creating 1,000 jobs.

“We are thrilled to be working with Amazon on their third project here in Michigan,” says Jeff Mason, MEDC’s CEO. “This project highlights Michigan’s strategic location, within 500 miles of almost half of the U.S. and Canadian markets.”

Michigan was selected over competing sites in the Midwest and Canada, and the announcement comes three months after Amazon was awarded a $5 million performance-based grant to create a fulfillment center in Romulus. The project is on track to generate a total investment of $140 million and create 1,600 jobs. The company was also awarded a $7.5 million grant in Dec. 2016 for the creation of 1,000 new jobs at a new $90 million fulfillment center in Livonia.

Shelby Township, located in Macomb County, will provide a property tax abatement in support of the project. Amazon currently operates 70 centers nationwide.

MEDC also awarded a total of $23.2 million to 14 low-populated Michigan communities to upgrade existing water and sewer systems through Community Development Block Grant Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement grants.

“Improving and updating infrastructure is vital to the continued health and economic well-being of our smaller communities,” adds Mason. “The Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement grants will allow these communities with the most immediate needs to begin work as soon as possible to make necessary improvements.”

Announced in Nov. 2016, the Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement grant program works to accelerate economic development and assist low and moderate income communities in making improvements or upgrades to existing public infrastructure systems. Eligible upgrades include: water lines and related facilities, sanitary and storm sewer lines and related facilities, wastewater treatment plants and related activities, and road replacement activities related to these projects. Grants range from $500,000-$2 million and are awarded to eligible communities on a competitive basis.

A total of 48 communities applied for a total of $72.5 million in grants, providing a minimum of 10 percent match and demonstrating a locally approved Capital Improvements Plan identifying the specific project. Additional points were awarded for communities integrating green infrastructure or engaged in MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.

Funding for the grants is made possible by the Community Development Block Grant program, allocated to the state through the Michigan Strategic Fund by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. All projects must be completed by Dec. 31, 2018.

MSF also approved a wide range of projects this week, including guidelines for the Good Jobs for Michigan incentive package. Signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in August, the Good Jobs for Michigan program is intended to be used on large, catalytic job-creation projects that are paying more than the annual regional average for wages.

The program allows the state to capture Michigan Income Taxes withheld from certified new jobs created as a result of a business expansion or new location project. The maximum duration of the withholding capture tax revenue is five or 10 years and the maximum amount is 50-100 percent, depending on the average annual wage and the number of certified new jobs created by the authorized new business.

More information about MSF can be found here.

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