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EDC Executive Director Jeff Holt  Lake Superior News

SAULT STE. MARIE MICHIGAN  January 18, 2018  (LSN)- The City of Sault Ste. Marie has been recognized for its successes and efforts in contributing to Michigan’s entrepreneurial growth and economic development in the annual eCities study conducted by researchers at iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research. The Sault was honored as a Five-Star community and was recognized on November 14th, during an eCities Panel Discussion, which discussed how talent, business policy, and access to capital have impacted community growth in Michigan. The eCities study analyzed publicly available data from 277 communities from 54 counties in Michigan. Researchers focused on the five-year changes in property values, community assets and tax rates, which can demonstrate growth, investments, and cost of doing business within the community. “While accounting for only about 15 percent of the cities and townships in Michigan, the 277 communities analyzed are home to nearly 70 percent of the population and 85 percent of the state’s commercial property” stated Timothy Davis, Director of iLabs.

Jeffrey Holt, Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) stated “We are pleased to once again be recognized by the University of Michigan. This year marks the fifth consecutive year that we have been honored with this award. This is truly a community effort that includes the Small Business Development Center, Northern Initiatives, Community Partners, and our local lenders.”  The EDC not only assists to retain current businesses, but to also encourage them to grow and expand. Our efforts also include reaching out to manufacturing and retail service providers through our Concierge Program, the goal being to provide quality employment for our community.

Reviewer’s comments were as follows:

“Appreciated the mention on working on a regional transportation strategy.  ‘Invest in the Sault and we will invest in You!’ is a great slogan!  This was the only community that had a slogan, good job.  Loved the success story (referring to Superior Coffee).”

“Nice focus on the international location and transportation benefits.  Concierge Program is a potential best practice.”

“Really like the idea of the Concierge Program and how it brings in potential new business.  The Community has unique assets.”

“Response to the “great place for business” was well done.”

“Good job of selling Sault Ste. Marie as a great place for business.”

The EDC is invested in our region and look forward to its continued growth. Our entire team is ready and willing to assist individuals and companies succeed using proves resources at our disposal, such as our Air Industrial Park, Industrial Park, Incubator and SmartZone. 

To see a listing of the U of M Five Star Communities, please visit our website at



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