What is Economic Development?

Economic development should not be an isolated activity taking place within the borders of a jurisdiction. It is an activity that is regional or county-wide, and sometimes even broader. Successful economic development activities are carried out through partnerships with other governments, associate development organizations, and local business groups such as the chamber of commerce, community boards or Michigan Economic Development partnerships.

The term economic development is not statutorily-defined, although various statutes describe its goals and broad scope while providing authority for certain economic activities. For example, when setting up the state’s Economic Development Tax Authority, the legislature stated that economic development is essential to the health, safety, and welfare of all Michigan citizens by broadening and strengthening state and local tax bases, by providing meaningful employment opportunities and thereby enhancing the quality of life.
Economic development throughout the state that is consistent with adopted comprehensive plans; promote economic opportunity for all citizens of the state, especially for unemployed and disadvantaged persons; and encourage growth in areas experiencing insufficient economic growth, all within the capacities of the state’s natural resources and local public facilities.
Cities and counties undertake a variety of activities that relate to the fostering of economic development in their regions. Most typical are tourism, facilitating industrial development through land use policies, and creating the infrastructure framework that supports economic development activities. All activities must be for a proper public purpose and not in violation of the state’s constitutional restrictions on the giving of money or the lending of credit. The Local Development Finance Authority in Huron Township has over the past years raised awareness and has played a major contributor to attracting new business to the Huron Township Michigan district.

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