Whitmer signs bipartisan bill to drive investment and job creation in local communities

Last Friday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bipartisan legislation to streamline Renaissance Zones, a state program that incentivizes job growth and investment in areas of the state that need more of both across Michigan. This change cuts red tape and incentivizes more businesses to utilize these low-cost zones, supporting regional economic development.  

“To keep winning and leading the future of advanced manufacturing, we need stronger economic development tools to outcompete our neighbors,” said Whitmer.

“Today, I’m proud to sign bipartisan legislation simplifying and modernizing our Renaissance Zones. I proposed getting this done in my State of the State address, along with three other new economic development tools, and I am proud we got it across the finish line. By consolidating the previously rigid categories of Renaissance Zones into one flexible category, we are lowering the cost of doing business and making it easier to invest and create jobs in regions of our state that have too often been left out or left behind. I will keep working with my partners in the legislature to put more economic development tools in our toolbox. Let’s get it done so anyone can ‘make it’ in Michigan.”

“Renaissance Zones are an essential tool to drive investment in historically underinvested communities and promote equity and prosperity where residents, innovators, and entrepreneurs are often overlooked; an essential tool that is vital for implementing the ‘Make It In Michigan’ economic development strategy, we are grateful to the Legislature and Governor Whitmer for working together to support greater program flexibility that increases accessibility and improves responsiveness to market needs,” said Quentin Messer,Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Addressing opportunities today and in the future, this legislation will improve Team Michigan’s capacity to attract community transforming investments that help local communities thrive, further underscoring the power of the Make It In Michigan economic strategy focused Michigan’s people, places, and projects.”

House Bill 5096, sponsored by Representative Kristian Grant, removes specific business categories that companies needed to fall under when attempting to establish in a Renaissance Zone. This bill simplifies the process for using the zones and encourages the development of more businesses in the reduced tax areas. Renaissance Zones have already generated more than $3 billion in private investment and more than 10,000 jobs. These numbers are expected to grow with the signing of today's legislation.  

“House Bill 5096 is a game-changer for Michigan businesses, communities, and the economy at-large,” said state Representative Kristian Grant (D-Grand Rapids).

“This bill updates the existing renaissance zone legislation to attract new emerging industries that will spur job creation and significant investments in our economy while also retaining existing companies that are currently doing this work in our communities. The improvements we’re making ensure that Michigan has a competitive edge as we work to grow the presence of these industries.”

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