Granholm: MEGA Board, Incentive Programs Help Spur Continued Economic Growth

Contact: Mitch Rivard 517-335-6397

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 19, 2010

Weekly radio address highlights projects in Sterling Heights, Rochester Hills, Benton Harbor 

LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said that progress is being made every day in diversifying Michigan's economy and creating new jobs thanks to the continued efforts of the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, or MEGA. 

"These MEGA tax credits help Michigan compete with other states - and even foreign nations - for new companies or the expansion of Michigan businesses," Granholm said.  "A company can use the credit only if it creates or retains a certain number of jobs, and the tax revenue generated more than offsets the cost of the credit." 

Granholm today highlighted projects around the state where incentives have helped diversify Michigan's economy and create new jobs. 

"Two company projects announced this week involve electric vehicles," Granholm said. "Bright Automotive, a company that's new to Michigan, has developed a plug-in hybrid electric commercial vehicle called the IDEA, Granholm said.  "Bright Automotive plans to invest $11 million to open a new technical center in Rochester Hills." 

"Meanwhile, Chrysler received a $45 million Plug-in Vehicle Engineering credit to support the company's $137 million investment in developing a four-passenger City Electric Car.  This new electric vehicle is slated for the 2013 model." 

Granholm also highlighted the brownfield redevelopment projects in Sterling Heights, Benton Harbor and Port Huron. 

"Chrysler will use a state brownfield tax credit to help renovate its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant," Granholm said.  "Chrysler plans to do some site demolition and improvements, and build a new paint shop.  Without renovation and new investment, the Sterling Heights plant was scheduled to close in 2012.  Now it's going to stay open and more than 1,800 jobs will be retained." 

"In Benton Harbor, two state brownfield credits will help clear the way for a three-story office building that will be part of the new Whirlpool headquarters," Granholm said.  "On the east side of the state, a brownfield project will redevelop the historic Sperry department store in downtown Port Huron." 

"Since January, nearly 335 new and retained jobs have been announced as a result of the MEGA, brownfield and other incentive programs."  And from now until the end of the year, we will continue using every economic development tool at our disposal to bring new jobs and investment to Michigan." 

The governor's weekly radio address is released each Friday and may be heard on broadcast stations across the state.  The address is available for download on the governor's web site at www.michigan.gov/gov together with a clip of the quote above.  The radio address also is available as a podcast on the web site as well as on iTunes and via RSS feed for general distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers. Links to the audio files and text of today's address follow. 

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm

Radio Address - MEGA 

Full: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov276Full_338884_7.mp3

Edited: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov276Edit_338885_7.mp3

Quote: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov276Quote_338886_7.mp3  

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm. 

This week I was pleased to announce that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, or MEDC, is helping seven companies grow in Michigan and supporting six brownfield redevelopment projects.  In total, more than $420 million is being invested in Michigan, creating and retaining nearly 6,300 jobs. 

Tax credits approved by the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, or MEGA, are a key economic development tool for the MEDC.   These MEGA tax credits help Michigan compete with other states - and even foreign nations - for new companies or the expansion of Michigan businesses.  A company can use the credit only if it creates or retains a certain number of jobs, and the tax revenue generated more than offsets the cost of the credit.  

Two of the company projects announced this week involve electric vehicles.  Bright Automotive, a company that's new to Michigan, has developed a plug-in hybrid electric commercial vehicle called the IDEA.  Bright Automotive plans to invest $11 million to open a technical center in Rochester Hills.  Two-hundred jobs will be created along with an estimated 326 spin-off jobs. 

Meanwhile, Chrysler received a $45 million Plug-in Electric Vehicle Engineering credit to support the company's $137 million investment in developing a four-passenger City Electric Vehicle.  This new electric vehicle is slated for the 2013 model year. 

The six brownfield redevelopment projects announced this week are opportunities for businesses and communities to renew themselves by keeping property productive or returning it to productive use.  

Chrysler will use a state brownfield tax credit to help renovate its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant.  Chrysler plans to do some site demolition and improvements, and build a new paint shop.  Without renovation and new investment, the Sterling Heights plant was scheduled to close in 2012.  Now it's going to stay open and more than 1,800 jobs will be retained. 

In Benton Harbor, two state brownfield credits will help clear the way for a three-story office building that will be part of the new Whirlpool headquarters.  On the east side of the state, a brownfield project will redevelop the historic Sperry department store in downtown Port Huron.  And in Cheboygan and East Lansing, two other brownfield projects will soon be underway. 

Since January, nearly 335,000 new and retained jobs have been announced as a result of the MEGA, brownfield and other incentive programs.  And from now until the end of the year, we'll continue using every economic development tool at our disposal to bring new jobs and investment to Michigan.  

Thank you for listening. 

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