The mission of the Economic Development Services Group is to foster a healthy, growing and diversified business community in Macomb County. By providing businesses with access to a variety of assistance programs, the EDSG serves to:
These, in turn, contribute to building and sustaining a robust regional economy in Southeast Michigan.
The EDSG’s central responsibilities are business retention, expansion, and attraction. These basic components, each one critical to the group’s mission, are collectively the foundation for an effective economic development strategy.
Retention activities are intended to help maintain the existing business base. Through “retention visits” made to local businesses, staff respond to specific needs such as employee training, access to working capital, or entering new markets. At the same time, through this direct contact, staff are apprized of the issues and challenges that affect the larger business community. The EDSG’s retention efforts are focused on the manufacturing sector and its various industries. General commercial and service-sector businesses are assisted directly by the department’s Small Business and Technology Development Center. SBTDC counselors deliver services through group counseling, topical seminars and one-on-one consultation.
Where retention focuses on maintaining existing businesses, expansion assistance addresses the needs of those that are poised to grow or have recently commenced expansion activities. The EDSG’s assistance, again concentrated on the manufacturing sector and related businesses (engineering, research and development, prototype), provides for site selection, financing, tax incentives and any other emergent needs. The SBTDC similarly is adept at identifying and serving the needs of its growth oriented clientele.
Successful retention and expansion efforts serve to create a stable business environment that naturally invites and encourages new investment. With the objective of building upon the existing industry base, the EDSG’s attraction strategy targets new business investments that are complementary to established industry specializations and workforce competencies. As such, the manufacturing community’s superior capabilities are enlisted in the service of diverse and emerging industries that require the same core infrastructure, skills and expertise that reside in abundance in Macomb County.
A study was commissioned by the county in 2006 to serve as a tool to aid in focusing economic development efforts. The Intellitrends Targeted Industries Study and additional EDSG research have identified six industry groups as Macomb County’s most promising prospects for potential growth and sustainability:
Additionally, the Tool and Die industry group, because of its critical role in support of the larger manufacturing sector, has been established as a special target for EDSG assistance.