WATERFORD TOWNSHIP — Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson Thursday identified five local communities who have agreed to participate in an economic development pilot program — the first of its kind in the state — designed to reduce delays and government red tape for business attraction and retention projects.
Ferndale, Oxford, Rochester, Lyon Township and Wixom were chosen to be part of the “One Stop Ready” pilot that aims to streamline the process of moving a business project from concept to reality. The ultimate goal is to certify communities as being One Stop Ready.
“We want all of our communities to have a core understanding of economic development and to be more efficient,” Patterson said. “We want them to be more knowledgeable about and integrated with the resources we offer locally and those offered by the state. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is working on a redevelopment readiness program to be launched next month and the Legislature is working on one too. One Stop Ready will keep our communities out front.”
Patterson said the One Stop Ready concept is based on three components: knowledge, tools and strategy, and implementation. It is not a rubber stamp for economic development projects nor a criticism of current community practices but rather an approach that complements a community’s ability to respond quickly and efficiently to economic development opportunities.
Communities would work closely with the Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs, which offers various services including project financing and micro loans, planning services, small business counseling, workforce development, Main Street Oakland County and an introduction to a host of state and federal programs.
“The program is designed to make our responses fast and efficient to opportunities,” Patterson said. “We are sharing ‘best practices.’ We show them what tools are available and how to use them but we want the communities to develop their own plans based on what they learn.”