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$8B Pure Michigan Business Connect Program Grows Through Consumers Power, DTE

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MACKINAC ISLAND (WWJ) – The state’s $8 billion Pure Michigan Business Connect program continues to grow, with Consumers Energy and DTE Energy announcing commitments to spend a total of $2 billion with other Michigan-based companies at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference

“Consumers Energy and DTE Energy helped build the foundation for Pure Michigan Business Connect by opening the door to millions of dollars per year in opportunities for other Michigan businesses,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement. “Both companies deserve praise for their leadership and continued dedication to helping grow Michigan’s economy. These latest commitments, along with those of our other members, will mean significant growth opportunities for Michigan companies.”

Launched in 2011, Pure Michigan Business Connect is a public-private alliance of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., state agencies and major Michigan companies and organizations.

Besides a “buy Michigan” commitment, the program also includes new ways to raise capital, get access to professional business services at little or no cost, connect with each other through a new business-to-business network, and identify potential supplier opportunities, while developing resources to improve their supply chains.

Since joining the Pure Michigan Business Connect program in 2011, Michigan’s two largest utility companies have increased their combined Michigan purchases and contracts by more than $1 billion, far beyond an original combined pledge of $100 million per year.

The state estimates the utilities’ spending under the program has created or retained 3,450 jobs.

“DTE Energy expects to spend an additional $750 million with Michigan-based suppliers by the end of 2013 and an additional $1 billion by the end of 2015, which is significantly above our original target and two years ahead of the original five-year commitment,” said Gerry Anderson, chairman, president and CEO of DTE Energy. “As the largest capital investor in Michigan, we are proud to be founding members of the PMBC. We see our goal as helping companies around the state be competitive, best in class and prepared to meet the challenges of providing goods and services to some of the nation’s largest companies.”

Added Consumers Energy president and CEO John G. Russell: “Consumers Energy is proud to commit $1 billion over five years to Pure Michigan Business Connect, creating thousands of jobs and powering the state’s economic future. We’re supporting the state’s innovation and progress every day by providing safe, affordable and reliable energy — but we won’t sustain that progress unless Michigan and the communities we serve share in that success.”

In recent months, 45 other Michigan organizations such as Ford Motor Co., General Dynamics, and Michigan State University have joined the PMBC initiative to increase purchasing with Michigan businesses. In addition, nearly 30 firms such as Varnum, Rehmann, Google and Yeo & Yeo have combined to pledge more than 15,000 pro bono service hours for Michigan businesses. Connecting all of this supply and demand is PMBC’s B2B network, www.puremichiganb2b.com, which includes more than 13,000 Michigan businesses and the entry point to access these programs.

Other recent additions to PMBC include:
• Moran Iron Works, through its contract with Consumers Energy, has joined the program and is now offering procurement opportunities to another Michigan vendor, Alro Steel.
• Michigan State University in May announced its plans as the first university to join Pure Michigan Business Connect and tap in-state suppliers for at least half of its purchasing.
• Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler joined Pure Michigan Business Connect in January, making available millions of dollars per year in additional opportunities that might not have been available previously to some other Michigan businesses.
• In January, the Detroit Regional Chamber and MEDC merged the Chamber’s Connection Point program with PMBC, creating a strategic partnership to undertake a series of exclusive purchaser-supplier matchmaking engagements that provide procurement opportunities to Michigan vendors.
• Ford Motor hosted a PMBC matchmaking supplier summit in March, resulting in 680 unique meetings with 317 Michigan suppliers. Additional Connection Point events will be taking place on an ongoing basis and will include General Dynamics Land Systems, Johnson Controls, American Axle, Deutz, Boeing, Borg Warner, and Schuler.
• MEDC launched the business-to-business website, http://www.puremichiganb2b.com/b2b- web/#dashboard, a free portal that offers breakthrough business-to-business tools open only to the more than 13,000 registered Michigan businesses.
• SEEL and Barton Malow are participating as beneficiaries of DTE Energy’s commitment to the program.

“In less than two years, both Connection Point and Pure Michigan Business Connect have been extremely successful in generating hundreds of millions of dollars in increased procurement opportunities and contracts for Michigan suppliers with new customers,” said Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah.

The original PMBC program participants, in addition to Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, include State of Michigan agencies, Huntington National Bank, Stage 2 Innovations, Automation Alley, and Export Import Bank. The two largest business loan commitments to PMBC were made by Fifth Third ($2.5 billion) and Huntington ($2 billion). Many other partners are offering their services through PMBC, providing increased access to capital, procurement opportunities and legal and professional services.

“These investments by Consumers Energy and DTE Energy into Pure Michigan Business Connect, as well as the addition of our other new partners, significantly expand our toolkit to grow our state’s economy,” said MEDC president and CEO Michael A. Finney. “We estimate that one job is created for every $200,000 in increased ongoing procurement dollars in Michigan supply chains. Pure Michigan Business Connect is an innovative way for government to help Michigan businesses to find new opportunities for growth through market-based solutions and without spending state tax dollars.”

Companies interested in learning more about Pure Michigan Business Connect may visit the website at www.michiganadvantage.org/Business-Connect/.

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