Gov. Granholm: Mich. training, loan efforts will help in ‘creating jobs by creating employers’By David Runk, AP
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Gov. Granholm: Create jobs by creating employers
DETROIT — A partnership to provide $43 million for loans to budding entrepreneurs and plans to set aside $200,000 to teach them will help people start or expand small businesses in Michigan, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said Thursday.
The Democratic governor said she also wants to make it easier for entrepreneurs to access programs that will help them on their way. She is counting on entrepreneurs to help revive Michigan’s economy, devastated by the collapse of the auto industry.
“Our focus this year must be on creating jobs by creating employers, in addition to bringing employers here,” Granholm said at Wayne State University’s TechTown, a research and technology park that supports business startups. At the event, she heard from a half-dozen entrepreneurs who had benefited from a training program called FastTrac.
The $200,000 could help teach 1,000 people what they need to know to start a business through FastTrac. And the partnership with the Michigan Credit Union League will make $43 million available for loans to about 2,100 small businesses.
Michigan has been battered by the shrinking auto industry and has a nation-leading unemployment rate of 14.6 percent. On Wednesday in her State of the State speech, Granholm detailed the plans to help small and medium-sized businesses.
“What we’ve got here in Michigan is the start of an innovation revolution in which young companies can get access to support that didn’t exist 10 years ago, even five years ago,” said Randal Charlton, TechTown’s executive director.
The loan partnership, called the Michigan Small Business Financing Alliance, includes 335 credit unions and the state’s Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Centers. State agencies will help in the loan application process. More details are expected to be available in the next three months.
“We see great opportunities to expand small-business lending,” said Michigan Credit Union League CEO Dave Adams. “It is what our state badly needs.”
Granholm said the Michigan Economic Development Corp. has pledged the $200,000 to expand the 10-week FastTrac NewVenture program. The training is available at 12 small business assistance centers throughout the state.
On the Net:
Michigan Credit Union League: www.mcul.org
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