SBAM Issues White Paper Backing 'Economic Gardening'

The Small Business Association of Michigan Thursday issued a white paper, “Propelling a New Economic Direction for Michigan.

The research document, available for download at, adds detail to the reasoning behind SBAM’s efforts to encourage a significant shift in the state of Michigan’s economic development efforts toward “economic gardening.”

“We seek to temper the public sector’s traditional role of using tax credits and incentives to lure industry and business from outside the state, and instead suggest a new emphasis on making Michigan welcoming and nurturing for the home-grown, high-growth small businesses that are proven to be the true job-makers,” said SBAM president and CEO Rob Fowler.

The white paper details the elements of a successful economic gardening strategy, including information, infrastructure and environment; lists the services valued by growth-oriented business owners and explains how Michigan’s economy and citizens will benefit from economic gardening.

SBAM seeks feedback and reactions to the white paper. That input will be used to help shape SBAM’s next major initiative in the “Propelling a New Economic Direction for Michigan” campaign — a blueprint for Michigan’s future economic direction that will be issued in early October.

The whtie paper was prepared for SBAM by Public Policy Associates of Lansing with the support of the Edward Lowe Foundation, Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Small Business Foundation of Michigan.

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