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Last Of Leftover Pure Michigan Funding Approved For Use

Last Of Leftover Pure Michigan Funding Approved For Use

The last of what's left of Pure Michigan funding was approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) Board Tuesday for disbursement to the state's travel marketing contractors.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) has previously said it has the funds to allow current buys for the state tourism campaign to run through at least the end of the calendar year.

But if there's nothing done to bring back some or all of the $37.5 million for the program vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Pure Michigan activities would likely have to be suspended going into 2020.

Before Tuesday's MSF action, the state's marketing contractors had been doing work "pro bono," said Doug Kuiper, the MEDC's senior vice president of marketing and communications. But the MSF Board signed off on $222,500 more to McCann Erickson and $73,100 more to Weber Shandwick.

The MEDC also plans to bring some of its Pure Michigan work in-house, which Kuiper said will be a "significant lift" for the "small internal team," but the MEDC believes the brand is important to the state, he said.

Kuiper also didn't rule out the possibility of negotiating an extension with the contractors beyond the end of the year if the prospect of backpay is involved, saying that's a conversation they can have "when and if we need to have them."

Meanwhile, the MSF Board didn't take up any business development projects at its meeting today, after the MEDC said last month the budget line for the agency's major business incentive program took a hit in the budget that is now law. 

There were some projects approved in the capital access, entrepreneurship and community vitality areas, however.

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