"Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together."
- James C. Penny, founder of JC Penny
District 7 is not a drive-through district, what I see for the 7th District is people stopping, shopping, and enjoying what each township, village, and city in the 7th District has to offer. Our district has so much potential, we are not only the breadbasket for the county but also the district with the most economic opportunity. Over the past 50 years rural communities have found that, typically, for every business they've added to their communities, they've lost one as well. K. McDaniel, an economist, states that "while entrepreneurial firms made significant contributions to growth of the US economy, there is evidence that rural areas have not shared equally in the gains." The Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership describes two types of businesses that enter these rural markets, Lifestyle Businesses and High-Growth Businesses. Lifestyle businesses are typically your mom and pop shops or family-owned farms, while the high-growth businesses are corporations and businesses suitable for going public.
It has been proven that lifestyle businesses help their communities tremendously in terms of job creation, roughly 50% of all laborers in America work for smaller firms. In terms of helping the 7th District, focusing on small, fast-growing, highly innovative/technological-based businesses would bring maximal economic output to our rural communities. While we should absolutely strive to attract high-growth businesses to our area we also must be cautious and prevent the community from being solely dependent on larger firms to prevent a job-flight scenario. With smaller/lifestyle firms we can focus on providing better job training opportunities and uplift union-supported jobs and skilled trades.
In order to promote business growth we need to provide incentives to attract business to the 7th District, businesses should be able to take out county-backed business microloans of up to $10,500.00 in order to help combat start-up costs and other expenses. By partnering with organizations such as the Small Business Development Center ( www.sbdcmichigan.org ) the County will be able to provide a less risky investment into our community. The SBDC helps business owners, or those interested in becoming a start-up, by providing counseling, training, and research. The SBDC also provides all the necessary resources so small businesses have access to what they need all in one place.
It doesn't matter whether you're starting a farm, a restaurant, or a store, capital and access to business resources are the number one thing people need when it comes to starting a business. It is my personal belief that the 7th District needs a business facilitation manager, working in conjunction with the SBDC, and paid for by the county. If you're starting a business you will often have to pay through the nose for business planners, accountants, marketers and other personnel, a Business Facilitation Manager could be the district's one-stop-shop for filing all forms, providing resources, and getting business owners connected with local financial service providers.