“We are thrilled that the local partnerships we have fostered, regional cooperative efforts and placemaking initiatives have allowed the Village of Almont to be recognized as a Best Practices Community. For a small town, we have worked hard to be pro-active in utilizing all the economic development tool available to us and it is apparent that it has made a difference. We have been successful in attracting new businesses to our downtown, promoting building improvements and assisting our local manufacturers by providing modern infrastructure improvements needed to compete in a global marketplace. Combined with an outstanding quality of life, these efforts create the Almont Advantage and make us a destination of choice,” said Nancy Boxey, Director, Almont Downtown Development Authority.
As part of the award recognition, the eCities team created a local Almont Video which highlights some of our local companies that have chosen Almont as their location of choice. Each of these local businesses has made significant investments in building improvements/expansion, capital and employees. They embody the importance and contributions that small, local businesses provide to a community and represent a sample of the broader vibrancy happening in Almont. Almont is a community that is truly Growing in the Right Direction.
“eCities highlights how local governments from across Michigan are growing their communities and supporting businesses. Being a university, we want to share the successes and educate about the best practices that can be used by other communities in the state,” said Tim Davis, director, iLabs.
The eCities research surveyed 83 communities from 30 counties in Michigan that are home to 26 percent of Michigan residents and 33 percent of its college graduates. These communities count nearly one quarter of the state’s entrepreneurs with over $2.6 billion in self-employed income as residents. These communities also had more than $12.3 billion in 2013 commercial construction and account for more than 31 percent of Michigan’s commercial property.
“We are seeing the nature of economic development evolving, and eCities is a tool to help local governments demonstrate their role in the changing economy. These governments are supporting unique and innovative efforts locally, while collaborating regionally to help Michigan business compete in an ever-changing business climate,” Davis said.
The communities were honored on, Thursday, November 13, at UM-Dearborn. Support for eCities is provided in part by the DTE Energy Foundation, Miller Canfield, Oakland County Economic Development and Community Affairs and UM-Dearborn’s College of Business.
The annual eCities research project, which began in 2007, uses data supplied by the participants, as well as other public records to assemble a six-factor, 32-item index of entrepreneurial activity, looking at such factors as clustering, incentives, growth, policies, community and education. The study focuses on entrepreneurship because of its importance to expansion and diversification of Michigan’s regional economies and the impact small businesses have on job creation. To date, 197 communities across Michigan have participated in the study.