Sterling Heights recognized by UM-Dearborn’s iLabs’ eCities Research for supporting small business

Sterling Heights was honored as a five star community along with 94 other communities across the state.

The City of Sterling Heights has been recognized for its successes and efforts in contributing to Michigan's entrepreneurial growth and economic development in the annual eCities study conducted by researchers at iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn's Center for Innovation Research.

The eCities study analyzed publicly available data from 277 communities from 54 counties in Michigan. Researchers focused on the five-year changes in property values, community assets, and tax rates, which can demonstrate the growth, investments, and cost of doing business within the community. For example, over the five-year period of 2017-2021, these communities increased their capital assets by an average of 3.4 percent per year by investments such as new libraries, new community centers, and infrastructure improvements.

According to Sterling Heights Senior Economic Development Advisor Luke Bonner, other economic development successes for Sterling Heights include $900 million in overall investments in the past five years.

"For years, the City has been strategically investing in recreation, pedestrian safety, infrastructure, technology, entrepreneurship and workforce development," said Bonner. "These have all had a strong impact on creating a desirable community and driving the City's business attraction efforts."

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As a result of the City's efforts, several recent private projects are completed or in progress, including the single biggest investment in the City's history – a proposed $1 billion redevelopment of Lakeside Mall.

"Our development team works collaboratively toward a single goal of continuing to drive significant investment in the City," said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael C. Taylor. "The Lakeside project is a perfect example of how the City is able to attract a massive and transformative project through our focus on consistent growth of jobs, investment and population – all the things you need to support this level of project. We look forward to watching it come together."

Although accounting for less than 20% of the State's cities and townships, the 277 communities analyzed are home to 71% of the state's population and 86% of the state's real commercial property and have 64% of the state's total property value. "Each year, the eCities project aims to highlight the successes and continued commitment of cities and townships to grow business and support entrepreneurship within their communities," said Kari Kowalski, iLabs project manager.

Learn more about eCities and download the full 2022 eCities study:

Filed Under: Government, City

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