Mount Pleasant one of the best cities for small business owners


Mount Pleasant is one of the bests communities in Michigan to start a business, according to an annual study.

Better known statewide for being the home of Central Michigan University, the city was recognized as one of the most entrepreneur-friendly cities in Michigan in an annual eCities study. Mount Pleasant is one of eight in the state to be recognized for fostering economic growth.

Helen Chase, the owner of Trillium Fine Clothing, 123 E. Broadway St., said Mount Pleasant is a particularly attractive city for a business thanks to its diverse population.

"It has both the advantage of local loyalty plus the university and all the students, faculty and staff that come with it," Chase said.

As previously reported by Central Michigan Life, CMU leaves a significant economic impact locally and statewide each year. A recent report by the Anderson Economic Group found CMU has a $940 million economic impact on Michigan.

Chase, a CMU alum, said students have been a key factor in her business' success. So has the city itself.

"Over the years, the city of Mount Pleasant has been working hand-in-hand with small businesses," Chase said.

Mount Pleasant was one of eight cities recognized as a "five-star community" in the study, conducted by iLabs, the University of Michigan-Dearborn's Center for Innovation Research. Five-star communities have spent $2.2 million on economic development.

“This award shows just how far Mount Pleasant has come in its economic development efforts,” said Michelle Sponseller, downtown development director. “The information provided for consideration of this award was a joint effort by the city of Mount Pleasant, the Central Michigan University Research Corporation and the Middle Michigan Development Corporation. The collaboration between these organizations is vital in the continued growth of Mount Pleasant’s economic development efforts.”

The eCities study, which surveyed 102 communities in the state, examined data supplied by each of the cities and public records relating to incentives, growth, education and policies.

The other recognized cities are Midland, Tecumseh, Imlay City, Madison Heights, Sterling Heights, Sturgis and Meridian Township. Tim Davis, iLabs director, said the cities were chosen for an eclectic mix of qualities.

“These communities are being recognized for the best practices they utilize, which include the right mix of tools and resources for their business community,” Davis said. “They listen to companies, help them with governmental processes, connect them with other companies and listen to what both new and existing businesses are saying.

"They are the definition of partners in the process and not just a service provider.”


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