LANSING-As news of Wayne County’s financial trouble spreads across Michigan and Detroit continues to pick up the pieces from its historic bankruptcy case, one would be fair in believing that the spirit of travel had fallen in recent years. Looking at basic economic figures, the future for Michigan’s vast tourism industry looked dire even before the recession or the bankruptcy hit. “Things started to bottom out near the end of [Former Governor Jennifer] Granholm’s term,” said David Lorenz, Manager of Industry Relations and International Marketing for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The economic draw-down overall hit Michigan harder than most, since much of the state’s finances derives from manufacturing, specifically cars. “We weren’t diversified well enough, so under our philosophy under the Granholm administration we really started taking this diversification thing seriously,” said Lorenz.
By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING – Politics is a tough business in today’s era of massive campaign spending, instantaneous electronic sliming, dirty tricks, deceptive advertising, bribes and voting fraud. But it also was a dirty, corrosive business in the earliest days of Michigan’s statehood, according to a new biography of its first governor, Stevens T. Mason. When it came to politics, the American frontier was no Eden and politicians were no angels. The Virginia-born Mason moved to Detroit and became secretary of the Michigan Territory when President Andrew Jackson, a fellow Democrat, appointed him at age 19 – too young to vote. He replaced his father in the patronage post.
Michigan’s small businesses rely on recent changes in legislative measures and consumer trends to survive. The state government’s new focus on growing businesses from within is key to the success of local businesses in Michigan. Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) President and CEO Rob Fowler said that the state government administration’s move toward economic gardening or, growing businesses within Michigan instead of looking for business elsewhere, is key to job creation in Michigan. “People tend to think that job creation only happens when there’s a big company in town,” he said. After SBAM promoted economic gardening to Gov. Rick Snyder, it was included in his state of the state address in January as part of his plan to improve Michigan.