Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm Wednesday signed legislation transferring $10 million from the 21st Century Jobs Fund to pay for the successful Pure Michigan advertising campaign. Separately, she also signed the six-bill Next Michigan legislative package creating the Aerotropolis project. The signing took place in the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

The Next Michigan legislation permits the designation of up to five regional entities across the state called Next Michigan Development Corporations. These regional entities will be able to offer economic incentives to businesses that rely on multimodal commerce to locate near major transportation facilities such as airports.

The nine communities surrounding Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports already have signed an interlocal agreement to be part of the Aerotropolis Development Corp. With the new enabling legislation, the ADC now will be able to focus on maximizing the economic potential of Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports and the surrounding areas. An independent study commissioned by Business Leaders for Michigan estimates the Aerotropolis project could draw $10 billion in economic investment and create 64,000 jobs.

“This is about jobs, jobs, jobs and getting people back to work,” said Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano. “Today makes things official, giving the Aerotropolis Development Corporation the ability to move forward. I want to commend and thank the legislature for seeing the importance of this legislation as well as the governor for signing it into law. Next Michigan is pivotal in continuing regional collaboration and elevating Michigan as a great place to do business.”

A Next Michigan Development Corporation can establish up to 12 Renaissance Zones based on the number of participants in an interlocal agreement. Each zone may be up to 200 acres in size. The maximum number of eligible businesses that can qualify for Renaissance Zone benefits statewide is 25.

As for the Pure Michigan funding, the $10 million is in addition to the $5.4 million allotted for the tourism campaign in the fiscal year 2011 budget. 

The money will help pay for winter and spring/summer ad campaigns.

“The Pure Michigan ad campaign has been a proven success — bringing visitors to Michigan, supporting local businesses, creating jobs and generating genuine excitement in the tourism industry,” Granholm said. “The funding allows us to advertise Michigan’s wealth of winter activities to potential visitors from Chicago and other key out-of-state markets in Ohio and Indiana.”

Since its launch in 2006, the Pure Michigan campaign has been recognized for its creativity and effectiveness, including being listed by Forbes in 2009 as one of the 10 best tourism promotion campaigns ever created worldwide. Pure Michigan was recognized in 2007 by the U.S. Travel Association as the Best State Tourism Advertising Campaign. In August 2010, USA Today did a front-page feature story on state tourism branding and advertising which showcased Pure Michigan as the primary success story.

More importantly, according to independent research, Pure Michigan has produced results for Michigan businesses and the state of Michigan. According to a four-year study of Pure Michigan out-of-state summer advertising from 2006 to 2009, that advertising brought 5 million new out-of-state visitors to Michigan during that four year period; visitors who spent $1.3 billion at Michigan businesses and paid $93 million in Michigan taxes, primarily state sales tax. In fact, for each dollar invested in Pure Michigan advertising, the state got back $2.94 in new, incremental taxes paid by these out-of-state visitors.

Michigan’s tourism industry is a vital component of the economy. Visitors to the state spend $15.1 billion annually traveling in Michigan, generating $850 million in state taxes and supporting 142,500 jobs for Michigan residents.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.


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