The City of Portage 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. Portage was honored as a five-star community along with 97 other communities across the state.
“We are pleased to be recognized as an eCities 2021 5-Star Community,” said Acting City Manager, Adam Herringa. “Our team works hard to offer developable property, a very low municipal tax rate, modern and extensive infrastructure and amenities throughout the community, diverse and affordable housing opportunities, and more than 2,000 acres of park and recreational space.” The City of Portage offers a variety of incentives to facilitate new business location, existing business expansion, and innovative redevelopment. Partnerships with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Southwest Michigan First help facilitate growth and business development in Portage.
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 the growth, investments, and cost of doing business within the community. For example, over the five-year period of 2016-2020, these communities increased their capital assets by an average of 2.9 percent per year by investments such as park facilities, water and sewer infrastructure projects, and emergency vehicles, while property tax rates increased by less than 3 percent on average per year.
Although accounting for less than 20 percent of the state’s cities and townships, the 277 communities analyzed are home to 71 percent of Michigan’s population and 86 percent of the state’s commercial property. “Each year, the eCities project aims to highlight the successes and continued commitment of cities and townships to grow business and support entrepreneurship within their communities,” said Kari Kowalski, iLabs project manager.
About University of Michigan-Dearborn
Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, University of Michigan-Dearborn is a metropolitan university serving southeastern Michigan, committed to excellence rooted in strong academics, innovative research and programming and civic engagement. The university has 8,300 students pursuing more than 100 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, education, and health programs. A top-ranked university with faculty devoted to teaching and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn is shaped by its history of partnering with local leaders and communities and is committed to finding solutions for the challenges that face the region.
eCities homepage: https://umdearborn.edu/cob/business-community/ilabs-center-innovation-research/entrepreneurship/ecities
List of all four-star communities: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1i2DeeZ1mE2ofxCYTkWG31DJ2GOWOgMco/view?usp=sharing
List of all five-star communities: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lHhrRxx1J2wbQuyyg9i8H20j_MEr4wNl/view?usp=sharing