Forty-one million dollars in taxpayer-funded relief have been approved to bolster Michigan’s flagging economy. A Detroit-based automotive supplies company will receive a two million dollar grant to aid in it’s expansion. This money comes as businesses across the state struggle to deal with the new stresses of the COVID economy and various programs try to fight the downturn.
The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) has approved two community upkeep and revitalization initiatives and made changes to the Michigan Community Development Block Grant program. These changes reportedly allow “the use of $41.9 million in federal CDBG CARES Act funding.”
Michigan Economic Development Company (MEDC), a partner of the MSF has approved $2,000,000 in grants for Bridgewater-Interiors. The automotive parts manufacturing company will be using the money in their expansions in Detroit which the MEDC said is expected to to generate a total private investment of approximately $15 million and create up to 400 jobs.”
The company explained the decision, saying, “The project aligns with MEDC’s strategic focus of supporting a business in the target industry of mobility and auto manufacturing. In addition, a majority of the jobs created as a result of the project will be entry-level positions, bringing new opportunities to area residents and offering a path to higher-wage jobs.”
Governor Gretchen Whitmer weighed in on the MEDC’s work, stating that the efforts “are helping to lay the groundwork for Michigan’s economic recovery, and demonstrate our continued support for the businesses and community projects that will secure the long-term economic health of our state.” The Governor added,”The expansion by Bridgewater Interiors means good jobs for our residents and further solidifies our state’s continued leadership in advanced automotive manufacturing and mobility.”
Michigan has been struggling since the coronavirus outbreak, with unemployment spiking to 22% in April. Small business closure has become a major problem, with As many as 1500 small businesses closing in the Detroit area alone. In response the MEDC has approved the use of $20,000,000 in grants and loans to small businesses.
The CEO of the MEDC Mark A. Burton said of the programs “We continue to use every resource possible, including critical federal dollars, to ensure our communities, businesses and workforce across the state are able to not only recover from the effects of this crisis, but be in a position to thrive long term.”
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