LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that the Michigan Strategic Fund board approved several projects and initiatives that will support economic opportunity throughout Michigan in 2022.

Michigan currently has a budget surplus of $3.5 billion, up from the projected $3 billion deficit, is seeing 8.5% GDP growth and is receiving billions of dollars in federal funds form the American Rescue Plan and Infrastructure Plan.

“Today’s approvals will help us continue to invest in Michigan’s economy by boosting our inventory of site ready facilities, supporting placemaking efforts in communities statewide, and investing in initiatives that will ensure long-term economic opportunity for businesses in the state,” said Governor Whitmer. “Through these investments, we can position Michigan to usher in a new era of prosperity and stay laser-focused on growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs, and lowering costs.”

One project includes a redevelopment of the former GM plant in Livonia. The project will lease space to several different business. Other initiatives include the Revitalization and Placemaking (RAP) program, which will use $100 million in federal American Rescue Plan dollars to support investments repurposing vacant, underutilized, blighted or historic buildings and place-based infrastructure.

The MSF also approved a new Public Gathering Spaces Initiative to support the creation and expansion of public gathering spaces. Together the MEDC says these programs build on their strategic efforts to attract talent through placemaking and transform underutilized properties into vibrant spaces. The program will provide grants between $200,000 and $1 million for places like farmers markets, parks, town squares, playgrounds and amphitheaters in low and moderate income communities across the state.

$1.275 million was also approved in continued support for the regional Procurement Technical Assistance Centers. PTACs provide a variety of services to Michigan businesses looking to obtain government contracts at local, state and federal levels. The funding will provide a 40% match to funding provided by the U.S. Department of Defense.

$5.5 million will support Automation Alley and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center for their support of MEDC’s Industry 4.0 initiative.

“Today’s meeting builds even more momentum toward creating a championship economy that delivers the wins to grow opportunity and to impact communities all across our state,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. “The actions taken by the Michigan Strategic Fund demonstrate our laser-focus on ensuring Michigan’s economic recovery is felt by all of our 10 million residents, while continuing to prove we are a global home for opportunity for businesses of all sizes.”

In 2021, business expansion and community revitalization projects supported by the Michigan Strategic Fund generated a total private investment of more than $3.7 billion and created 13,906 jobs according to the MEDC.