(11/08/12) - The City of Grand Blanc and the city of Midland are top economic winners - that's according to a recent study.
The Mid-Michigan communities were among eight other cities who are committed to economic development, and those who want to start their own businesses.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn campus surveyed more than 100 communities in search of cities who are committed to helping people grow their business.
From a bustling downtown to quaint boutiques, nestled in southern Genesee County, the city of Grand Blanc is creating its very own success story.
"I think part of it really is our capacity to provide entrepreneurial growth, business opportunities in the community here and that's through a number of examples. We work closely with partnering agencies," said Grand Blanc City Manager Paul Brake.
The city was named one the state's top economic performers by a recent University of Michigan study. Grand Blanc prides itself on the city's efforts to enhance its physical appearance and provide an environment where new business is welcomed.
"We are working with a number of individuals that are putting forward a purchase proposal, it's unique local government is in the land business but we own key parcels in the downtown area that we are eager to reconvert them into private ownership, so there's some opportunity there," Brake said.
"The people want diverse things to go to, they want good boutiques, restaurants, so they've built a community worth living in," said local shop owner Kim Dinger.
Dinger owns Kim Rose Fashions on South Saginaw Street. She's been serving the community for 25 years. The award comes as no surprise. "I think it's great and I think it's really well deserved. The Grand Blanc community has really been fabulous with us, everyone in city government to our loyal customers to come back here every year because they want us here."
A few doors down from Kim Rose Fashions, 20-year-old Kylie Nickola went into business with her dad. They now own Benito's Pizza.
"I'm really happy with the community because I'm new, I'm like a kid in this. Everybody stepped to help me I had so many questions, and there's been a lot of different businesses in the area to answer all of my questions," Nickola said.
"I think there is great potential for us, I guess we are part of the new Michigan economy really into growing small business and those who are more apt to be job creators in Michigan," Brake said.
In addition to Grand Blanc and Midland, Lapeer County's Imlay City was also named to the list. There were other Mid-Michigan communities named as four and five star performers.
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