New bill package will modernize and transform Michigan’s biggest economic development tools into the Make It In Michigan Fund — an investment accelerator to grow people and communities, not just companies
LANSING, Mich. (Oct. 4, 2023) — Today, Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), Sen. Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Twp.) and Rep. Jason Hoskins (D-Southfield) introduced a legislative package — Senate Bills 559–562 and equivalent House Bills — to grow and diversify Michigan’s economy by dramatically transforming Michigan’s Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) Fund into the Make It In Michigan Fund.
“Instead of just handing out cash to companies, the Make It In Michigan Fund will create partnerships between companies and communities — allowing both to successfully grow together,” said Sen. McMorrow. “We’ve seen other states find greater success in packaging traditional economic development tools with targeted investments in communities. It’s time for Michigan to build on our economic momentum and take a more holistic approach to attracting and retaining talent through investing in our state’s greatest assets: our people and the places we live.”
The Make It In Michigan Fund is comprised of three programs — Michigan 360, the Strategic Site Readiness Fund (SSRP) and the Critical Industry Program (CIP) — and brings increased transparency to the state’s economic development process, while prioritizing prosperity-based outcomes for Michiganders, strengthening community involvement, labor and environmental protections.
“This is an entirely new approach to how we view economic development here in the state of Michigan, focusing on the quality and livelihood it will bring to Michigan families, workers and their communities,” said Sen. Cavanagh. “The new standard set in this legislation ensures we’re focused on communities and the future prosperity and health in this state. These strategic investments will guarantee the success and positive outcomes for people, not just to win projects, like it never has before.”
The fund will prioritize investment opportunities that can withstand changes in the economy and business decisions, setting residents and the state up to succeed in the long-term — instead of an over-reliance on cash incentives and tax breaks, an approach popularized in the waning half of the last century.
”We need to change our perspective on economic development from a top-down focus to a community-minded one,” said Rep. Hoskins. “It’s been said that a rising tide lifts all boats and it’s in that spirit that we focus on people and communities — especially those that have not traditionally had a seat at the table. By making sure our cities and towns thrive when big businesses come to town and by ensuring resources are going where they will do the most good — we can create a better Michigan for everyone.”