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Governor Gretchen Whitmer is committed to ensuring small business not only succeed, but they thrive in Michigan.
MEDC’s small business support programs include International Trade, Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC), Entrepreneurship & Innovation focused on high-tech startups, and community development small business programs focused on place-based Main Street businesses, as well as support for small businesses through traditional business development incentives and capital access programs. MEDC also supports small business service providers like the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC).
Since January 2021, the MEDC and its partners have supported small businesses over 30,000 times. This includes more than 175 announced Business Development and Capital Access projects projected to create over 5,000 jobs and $1B in private investment.
Michigan’s Work Share program allows employers to restart their business and bring employees back from unemployment. Employers can bring employees back with reduced hours – while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up a portion of the lost wages. Employers can also retain their current workforce and are given the flexibility to choose which of their employees are part of a Work Share plan.
Governor Whitmer’s actions to expand and extend access to unemployment programs have provided a critical lifeline for 3.5M Michiganders since March 2020, paying over $40B in benefits.
Creating benefits for employers and career seekers through on-the-job learning focused on new industry sectors and increasing the diversity of participants by recruiting groups historically underrepresented. Federal grants will help Michigan create more than 6,000 new apprentices over the next few years.
By investing $24M in the Futures for Frontliners program, Governor Whitmer launched a new, first in nation scholarship program that resulted in over 120,000 essential, frontline worker applicants on a tuition-free path. Whitmer also launched Michigan Reconnect with a $30M investment to ensure over 4.1 million Michiganders age 25 or older will have an opportunity to earn a tuition-free associate degree or skills certificate. To date, over 100,000 Michiganders have applied.
Michigan has ensured employers had access to traditional job search tools by organizing over 100 free virtual job fairs and connecting over 2,600 employers and 9,900 job seekers.
One of the biggest barriers for people seeking to rejoin the workforce is the cost of child care — resulting in more and more parents being left out of the work force. MI Tri-Share, an innovative bipartisan program introduced by Gov. Whitmer, was created to change all that.
Through MI Tri-Share, the cost of an employee’s child care is shared equally among the employer, the employee and the State of Michigan — a three-way split — with coordination being provided regionally by a MI Tri-Share facilitator hub. With MI Tri-Share, parents can get back to work knowing that their kids are safe, cared for and have the opportunity to succeed.
Governor Whitmer signed a record $1.4 billion in childcare funding to expand access to high-quality, affordable childcare by:
Michigan Small Business Summit | West Michigan
Michigan Small Business Summit | Tribal
Michigan Small Business Summit | Southeast Michigan
Michigan Small Business Summit | Northern Michigan 
Michigan Small Business Summit | Mid Michigan
Michigan Small Business Summit | Lenders 
Michigan Small Business Summit | Impact Investing
Michigan Small Business Summit | Specific Needs of Micro 
Michigan Small Business Summit | Second Stage Businesses in the Coming Year
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Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) provides the connections, expertise and innovative solutions to drive continued business growth, build vibrant communities, create affordable housing, generate tourism and attract and retain key talent to fill Michigan’s vast pipeline of opportunities.

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