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Small Business Association of Michigan says Governor-elect Snyder is the right person to lead economic growth

November 3, 2010

The Small Business Association of Michigan says the election of Rick Snyder presents a tremendous opportunity for Michigan because he has he has the right background at the right time to implement a job-creating “economic gardening” strategy.

Rob Fowler

“Economic gardening means growing our own small businesses from the ground up, and it’s vital to the future of our state because most job growth comes from our own small businesses, not big businesses – neither the large firms that we have here in the state nor the ones that are lured to locate here by expensive tax breaks,” says association President and CEO Rob Fowler. “Hunting for large firms and bringing them to Michigan will continue to be an important part of our economic development toolkit. However, we have been working on economic gardening for nearly two years and believe it is a game-changing strategy for growing and sustaining our economy and creating jobs. Governor-elect Snyder is uniquely well equipped to implement this strategy, and we look forward to assisting the new administration in this effort.”

The Small Business Association of Michigan suggested that implementation of an economic gardening strategy should include the commitment of at least 60 percent of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) budget toward economic gardening activities, such as increased support for fast-growing second stage small firms.

Fowler also says it’s important the Governor-elect Snyder and the legislature take steps to bring our state to a position of leading the nation in the commercialization of the technology that’s developed by our public/private institutions. “We are among the nation’s leaders in public/private research output, but we are far behind other states when it comes to turning that research into jobs,” says Fowler.

The association president also called on state leaders to work to shift Michigan’s cultural outlook so that entrepreneurialism is valued and nourished at all levels of society. Michigan’s community assets – including libraries, schools and local governments – can be energized to encourage small business startups, innovation and job creation, Fowler says.

Further details on the Small Business Association of Michigan’s economic gardening recommendations and opportunities for the MEDC are contained in the association’s Blueprint for “Propelling a New Economic Direction for Michigan” report.

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