Federal grant helps pay for export growth

Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan received the second-largest amount of federal funding through the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program to help small-to-medium sized businesses increase exporting by promoting activities like trade shows and missions. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) will use its $2.1 million grant to help businesses focus on exporting by incorporating a strategic plan and activities like trade shows and website language translation. Chuck Hadden, president of the Michigan Manufacturers Association, said of exporting, “We cannot do a lot besides encourage and train our members, most of which happens at the federal level.”

He said machine-manufacturing companies represent 71 out of 132 companies in the program. The federal grant is $600,000 more than last year’s.

Efforts to bolster horseback riding tourism could threaten federal money

Capital News Service
LANSING- An attempt to increase tourism through horseback riding could jeopardize $25 million in federal funding. Rep. Greg MacMaster, R-Kewadin, introduced a bill to open more state land to horseback riding. The bill would allow horseback riding in state forests, state parks, state gaming areas and lands the Department of Natural Resources manage unless there are specific land restricts to the property. This would give riders more opportunities than riding on a small number of two lane roads and trails, said Chris Bailey, legislative aide for MacMaster. “Quite a few states around us have very strong horseback riding tourism base,” Bailey said.