Economic Development, Manufacturing, and Small Business & Startups

Holland Township auto supplier, GVSU center awarded state funding to spur economic growth

September 29, 2012
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The state has approved funding for several West Michigan organizations to support job creation, high-tech research and the region's medical industry.

Magna Sealing and Glass Systems, based in Holland Charter Township, Grand Valley State University's Small Business & Technology Development Center and the Kalamazoo-based Michigan Medical Device Accelerator were awarded funding Thursday by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation -- the public agency behind Pure Michigan -- through its Michigan Strategic Fund.

The awarded funds "demonstrate how we have greatly improved Michigan's business climate and infrastructure, leading to more jobs and better lives for our residents," said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney in an announcement.

Magna Sealing and Glass Systems, a manufacturer of advanced automotive components and a division of Magna Exteriors and Interiors, was awarded a performance based business development incentive of $1.2 million by the fund to deepen its commitment to West Michigan.

Magna plans to invest up to $10.1 million to expand its Holland Charter Township operations to develop, test and commercialize a "new sunroof technology for the automobile industry" and new technologies with automotive-glass applications, according to MEDC.

The automotive supplier anticipates the expansion will create about 177 new jobs over the new product development period. Michigan was chosen over competing sites, and Holland Charter Township has offered support to the project in the form of a 12 year tax abatement, according to MEDC.

Grand Valley State University's Small Business & Technology Development Center will receive part of the $3.2 million the fund has allocated for the center and two other nonprofits to provide matching funds to technology companies receiving federal-research grants, according to MEDC. The university's center will also promote its program to encourage more early stage tech companies to secure federal funding tied to small business, defense and energy. The center provides consulting services to growing technology startups.

The Michigan Medical Device Accelerator will receive part of the $500,000 the fund has allocated for the accelerator and two other industry consortiums. The accelerator will receive matching funds for "a grant focused on building industries and connecting partners in the state," according to MEDC. The medical accelerator seeks out inventors, physicians and entrepreneurs intent on creating innovative medical devices.

The state economic development fund also approved direct export-related reimbursements to qualified companies with fewer than 500 employees for activities such as free or low cost export training, technical counseling and international trade missions. The funds stem from a $2.2 million federal-export award to the state under the U.S. Small Business Administration State Trade and Export Promotion program. Michigan received the second largest award in the country.

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