Fostering a culture of entrepreneurship is one of the League’s eight assets that Michigan communities need to grow and strengthen, for our state to sustain and prosper in the 21st century. Nothing promotes that culture as much as this new crowdfunding opportunity. This new community investment tool is a natural extension of placemaking and we intend to promote this in the next several months through training and educational materials.

First off, let’s make a clear distinction between this law and the crowdfunding initiatives you may have already heard of. This new law allows for “investment” crowdfunding, where a Michigan business can solicit funds from Michigan residents directly or through an online platform to help spur their business in exchange for an actual return on investment. This ROI is what makes this different from other initiatives you’ve heard of like, Kickstarter. Those are “reward based” crowdfunding initiatives, where people donate to a cause or product because they believe in it. Perhaps they get a T-shirt out of the deal, but there is no actual investing. That’s what this legislation allows for – being able to use this as an investment tool. And, it’s what makes this opportunity so appealing.

Thanks for Investing LocalCrowdfunding fosters entrepreneurship and economic development. It’s a way for residents to support local businesses and invest on Main Street rather than Wall Street. And, we believe it’s a game changing opportunity for Michigan communities. Creating and sustaining vibrant communities requires unique places with local flavor–and those types of businesses can seem risky to traditional financiers. This can now fill a void in traditional financing where a business start-up might not qualify for the funding they need for various reasons, including additional hurdles because of their desire to rehab an old historic structure or a lack of enough start-up capital. The economic impact of citizens being able to put their resources into helping develop their community–and get something out of it in return-could be magnificent.

This new law benefits residents, small businesses, and communities alike. The new law in Michigan is the most favorable in the entire country, and an excellent conduit to support additional place based initiatives.

This initiative has very exciting potential and the League is in the process of developing a Michigan-based website where start-ups, community leaders, and investors can go and learn about crowdfunding in Michigan, as well as start the process through a couple of partnerships we’ve developed with Localstake and Fundrise. These national companies have proven track records helping spur the development of businesses and real estate. We are also in the process of developing a public space crowdfunding initiative, that we hope to be able to announce soon.

Better Communities. Better Michigan. The Podcast!Partnership for Place

Thriving communities are a key to Michigan’s long-term success and sustainability. If we are going to compete globally in the 21st century, then it is critical to create communities that can attract and retain talent and enterprise.

We’ll discuss the League’s Partnership for Place agenda and the increased support for placemaking locally with League Executive Director and CEO Dan Gilmartin, University of Michigan’s Debra Horner and State Representative Gretchen Driskell.  The Partnership for Place agenda proposes a commitment of action between the State and its municipalities that will facilitate Michigan’s economic growth and allow for the development of places to provide key services and amenities that contribute to a high quality of life.  Also, a recent study released by the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy shows that more local governments than ever before are utilizing placemaking as an economic development tool in their communities. Finally, we’ll discuss what this means for advancing state policy changes here in Michigan.

Better Communities Better Michigan The Podcast!

The Michigan Municipal League is the one clear voice for Michigan communities, working in Lansing and throughout the state for the unique and vibrant places where people want to live. From state policy to cutting edge local initiatives, we’ll discuss issues that impact us all, and identify key strategies to promote highly adaptable, economically competitive communities that are ready to face the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

Better Communities. Better Michigan. The Podcast!Will the Legislature Support the Governor’s Proposed Revenue Sharing/EVIP Budget?

Governor Snyder recently proposed an additional 15% in funding for the statutory revenue sharing program, known currently as the Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP). But with the additional funds comes yet another layer of requirements local leaders must adhere to in order to obtain the funds. How likely is it the legislature approves this plan? House General Government Subcommittee on Appropriations Chairman Earl Poleski (R-Jackson) and Senate General Government Subcommittee on Appropriations member Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton Township) talk to us about their views on local government funding, short term and long term.

Better Communities Better Michigan The Podcast!

The Michigan Municipal League is the one clear voice for Michigan communities, working in Lansing and throughout the state for the unique and vibrant places where people want to live. From state policy to cutting edge local initiatives, we’ll discuss issues that impact us all, and identify key strategies to promote highly adaptable, economically competitive communities that are ready to face the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

Better Communities. Better Michigan. The Podcast!Welcome to Better Communities Better Michigan The Podcast!

The Michigan Municipal League is the one clear voice for Michigan communities, working in Lansing and throughout the state for the unique and vibrant places where people want to live. From state policy to cutting edge local initiatives, we’ll discuss issues that impact us all, and identify key strategies to promote highly adaptable, economically competitive communities that are ready to face the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

Demographic Trends Provide Key Insights for Future City Designs

Nationally renowned demographer Laurie Volk, a Principal at Zimmerman Volk Associates, talks to us about her latest research and the preferences of the largest generations – millenials and boomers. We also get the view of what these trends mean for cities when working with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Jim Tischler, Director of Community Development, discusses how they use demographics in programming.

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