LANSING — House Democrats unveiled their latest proposal to create good jobs with strong benefits and foster neighborhood business growth today in a press call outlining the Neighborhood Businesses, Neighborhood Growth package. Neighborhood businesses created more than 34,000 jobs in Michigan in 2014, with total small business employment accounting for nearly 50.2 percent of the workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration[i]. The Democratic proposal would work to support entrepreneurs, innovators, small business owners and their employees, building opportunity for all.

“When community businesses grow, local wages and our local economies grow with them,” said state Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township), sponsor of House Bill 6238. “Yet, as a small business owner myself, I know how hard it can be to take that leap and start your own venture. That’s why it’s critical our state be focused on supporting these local innovators. Our plan makes sure entrepreneurs have the resources they need to jumpstart that growth.”

The package supports entrepreneurship, innovation and provides resources to small businesses in Michigan by:

  • House Bill 6238 (Lasinski) would create a small business and entrepreneurship services office in order to facilitate the creation and retention of small business jobs in the state.
  • A House Resolution (Rep. Gay-Dagnogo) to urge the governor and the office of Talent and Economic Development to increase support and their focus on small businesses, including providing grants for entrepreneurs, help for startup companies, and minority business development.
  • House Bill 6237 (Chirkun) would create a small business preference in state procurement that requires a percentage of certain contracts be set aside for businesses that meet the definition of small business.
  • House Bill 5708 (Dianda) and House Bill 5709 (Wittenberg) would allow and allocate funding for small business owners to buy into a secure retirement savings plan at the state level.

“Small business owners and employees are our neighbors, friends and family members,” said state Rep. John Chirkun (D-Roseville). “But they aren’t just part of the community — they’re the engine that drives Michigan’s growth. Money earned and spent in local businesses stays in our communities and helps them thrive. It’s time those local businesses had the resources they need not just to stay afloat, but to grow. Our package ensures entrepreneurs have the tools they need to create jobs with strong wages and good benefits for Michigan families.”