Michigan Incentives and Workforce Development Guide

For a list of Michigan economic development agencies that can help with the site selection process, visit our Online Site Seekers’ Guide.

Michigan has established several proven state and local economic development resources that provide support for companies investing and expanding their operations and workforces in Michigan communities.


Michigan Business Development Program (MBDP): The Michigan Business Development Program is an incentive program available from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF), in cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The program is designed to provide grants, loans or other economic assistance to businesses for highly competitive projects in Michigan that create jobs and/or provide investment. The MBDP is available to eligible businesses that create qualified new jobs and/or make qualified new investment in Michigan. The Qualified New Jobs must be held by Michigan residents of the Applicant company and be in addition to those maintained in Michigan prior to the project. Eligible investment includes investment made by the business in Michigan in support of the project and approved by the MSF. Preference may be given to businesses in need of additional assistance for deal-closing and second stage company gap financing.

Any business seeking to qualify for MSF support on the basis of job creation must create a minimum of 50 Qualified New Jobs. Unless a project is in a rural county (a county with a population of 90,000 or less) or qualifies as a high-technology activity, in which case the business must create a minimum of 25 qualified new jobs. High-technology activities are defined in the Michigan Economic Growth Authority Act, Public Act 24 of 1995, although it does not include Tool and Die unless the eligible business meets a different high-technology definition.

Good Jobs for Michigan: The Good Jobs for Michigan legislation created new tools that encourage transformational, large-scale projects in Michigan. Through this program, the MSF may authorize state withholding tax capture revenues of up to 50% or 100% for up to five or 10 years, depending on the average annual wage and the number of certified new jobs created by the authorized business.

Michigan Community Revitalization Program (MCRP): The MCRP is an incentive program available from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF), in cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), designed to promote community revitalization that will accelerate private investment in areas of historical disinvestment; contribute to Michigan’s reinvention as a vital, job generating state; foster redevelopment of functionally obsolete or historic properties; reduce blight; and protect the natural resources of this state. The program is designed to provide grants, loans or other economic assistance for eligible investment projects in Michigan. A person or two or more persons may apply to the MSF for approval of MCRP incentives associated with a project The MSF’s support will not exceed 25% of the total eligible investment for a single project, and in no event exceed a total of $10,000,000 for loan agreements or $1,000,000 for grant agreements, or $10,000,000 for a combination of support. Any grant or loan under the program will be performance based. Grants and loans will include flexible terms and conditions and may be assignable upon approval of the MSF. Loan terms and conditions may include below market interest rates, extended grace and repayment provisions, forgivable terms and no security or some security (which may be subordinated). As required by the Act, all written agreements will include a repayment provision for failure to comply with the provisions outlined in the written agreement. The Program will also consider awards to projects where the MSF will purchase a share, or participate, in a Senior Loan facility or contribute equity into the project all on terms acceptable to the MSF.

Eligible investment to an eligible property is considered based on one or more of the following categories as further determined by the MSF Board (MCL 125.2090a(d)):

  • Any alteration, construction, improvement, demolition or rehabilitation of buildings;
  • Site improvement;
  • The addition of machinery, equipment or fixtures; and
  • Architectural, engineering, surveying and similar professional fees for a project but not certain soft costs of the eligible investment
  • For more information, including eligibility requirements and program guidelines, view the Michigan Community Revitalization Program fact sheet
  • For process documentation, view the MCRP process document.
  • For program guidelines, view the MCRP guidelines document

Michigan Community Development Block Grant Community Development Initiatives (CDBG): MEDC, on behalf of the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF), administers the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. CDBG is a federal grant program utilizing funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Funds are used to provide grants to eligible counties, cities, villages, and townships, usually with populations under 50,000, for economic development, community development and housing projects.

Public Spaces Community Places: A program which provides matching funds to resident-led crowd funding community improvement projects.

A creative funding program that partners the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) with the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan-based crowd funding platform Patronicity. This opportunity mobilizes community members, residents and general supporters to make individual contributions while promoting their efforts to others. Communities, non-profits and other business entities can submit projects by applying for a Patronicity crowd funding online donation campaign. Projects meeting fundraising goals can receive a matching grant from MEDC/MSHDA of up to $50,000.

Public Spaces Community Places projects include:

  • Public Plaza & Green Space Development
  • Access to Public Amenities
  • Farmer’s Markets, Community Kitchens, Pop-Up Retail/Incubator Space
  • Alley Rehabilitation
  • Any other place based (or public space improvement) project



Through a variety of programs and resources, Michigan offers personalized assistance for businesses starting, relocating or expanding operations in the state. In addition, Michigan ranks among the top 10 states for major new and expanded facilities due to a fair and efficient 6% corporate income tax and $500 million in annual business savings through the elimination of industrial personal property tax.

Transformational Brownfield Plan (TBP): A TBP is defined as a Brownfield Plan that, among other requirements, will have a transformational impact on local economic development and community revitalization based on the extent of brownfield redevelopment, growth in population, commercial activity, and employment that will result from the plan. The plan must be a mixed-use development project containing some combination of retail, office, residential, or hotel uses. Minimum capital investment thresholds are required depending on the population of the municipality in which the development is proposed. The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) is the project authorizing entity and can approve no more than five TBPs in a calendar year statewide and no more than five TBPs in any individual local unit of government for the duration of the program, which ends December 31, 2022.

An equitable geographic distribution approach of plans is required, balancing the needs of municipalities of different sizes and geographic areas, with a target that at least 35% of all TBPs be located in cities, villages, and townships with populations under 100,000.


A project may be located on brownfield eligible property in any community but must involve a minimum level of capital investment based on the size of the community, as follows:

Population                                                       Investment

Greater than or equal to 600,000                      $500,000,000

150,000 – 599,999                                            $100,000,000

100,000 – 149,999                                            $75,000,000

50,000 – 99,999                                                $50,000,000

25,000 – 49,999                                                $25,000,000

Less than 25,000                                              $15,000,000

The minimum capital investment threshold may be waived by the MSF in certain areas where:

  • The population is under 25,000, if the development would not be economically feasible without TBP;
  • The Michigan State Housing Development Authority has approved the expenditure of federal blight elimination funds;
  • The municipality is subject to a state of emergency for drinking water contamination;
  • The eligible property is a historic resource and the development would not be economically feasible without TBP.

TBP Incentive Structure: A TBP is a type of Brownfield Plan under Act 381 that allows for the capture of three new sources of tax increment revenues associated with a project, in addition to incremental revenue from property taxes. The three kinds of revenues from tax capture are as follows: (1) Construction Period Tax Capture Revenues; (2) Income Tax Capture Revenues; and (3) Withholding Tax Capture Revenues. These tax increment revenues can be used in financing a wide array of eligible activities, including “any demolition, construction, restoration, alteration, renovation, or improvement of buildings or site improvements on eligible property, including infrastructure improvements that directly benefit eligible property.” Capture of income and withholding tax revenue is limited to up to 20 years. Capture of property tax increment revenue is limited to up to 30 years. TBP projects are also eligible for construction period sales and use tax exemption.

TBP’s proposing to use property tax increment, construction period tax capture, withholding tax capture, and income tax capture revenues may be approved for an amount only up to that necessary to fill a demonstrated financing gap and be economically viable. The MSF will use standardized underwriting criteria for determining economic viability. MSF may not approve any plan, regardless of size of capture, unless it determines that the plan will result in an overall positive fiscal impact to the state.


TBP projects require the approval of the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA), the local unit of government, and the MSF. The governing body of the local municipality that created the BRA must make an initial determination as to whether a TBP constitutes a public purpose. If it finds a public purpose, the governing body can approve, reject, or modify the plan; however, prior to the BRA’s adoption of a TBP, it is required that a draft be provided to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for comment.

Brownfield Tax Increment Financing: Brownfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is available for eligible environmental and non-environmental costs related to brownfield site redevelopment. State and local property taxes (including school taxes) can be captured to pay for baseline environmental assessments, due care, remedial action, demolition, lead and asbestos abatement, site preparation, and infrastructure improvements at brownfield sites. The eligible property must be included in a brownfield plan approved by a local Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. Projects using captured state school taxes must receive approval from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) Board (for non-environmental costs) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (for environmental costs). Local-only tax capture does not require state approval.

Sales Tax Exemptions: The 6% state sales tax is not levied on the purchase of machinery and equipment used in manufacturing.

State Education Tax Abatement: The MEDC can abate half or all of the 6-mill State Education Tax on new investment when the project presents significant economic benefits to Michigan, and when the project receives a property tax abatement under PA 198 of 1974.

Tax Abatements: Municipalities have the authority to provide a tax abatement on real and personal property for manufacturing facilities.

Inventory Tax: No inventory tax – no matter where a company locates in Michigan. All inventory is exempt from state and local property taxes.

Personal Property Tax Reform: In an ongoing effort to make the state a more attractive place for businesses to invest and grow, Michigan is phasing out its Personal Property Tax (PPT) for most businesses beginning in 2014. This reform will substantially reduce compliance and administrative costs for businesses and will be especially attractive to manufacturers who rely on expensive capital investments in tools and other equipment. Eligible manufacturing personal property could include both commercial personal property and industrial personal property. More specifically, the term refers to all personal property located on real property where that personal property is used more than 50% of the time in industrial processing or in supporting industrial processes.

Eligible manufacturing personal property purchased by the first owner:

  • after 2012 will be 100% exempt beginning in 2016.
  • before 2006 will be 100% exempt beginning in 2016.
  • in 2006 through 2012 will be 100% exempt when the personal property becomes 10 years old.

State Essential Services Assessment (SESA) Exemption and Alternative State Essential Services Incentive Programs: The State Essential Services Assessment is required for manufacturers that do not pay personal property tax on eligible manufacturing personal property. The MSF, in certain circumstances, may choose to exempt or reduce the Assessment for projects that create jobs and/or private investment in Michigan through the State Essential Services Assessment (SESA) Exemption or the Alternative State Essential Services Assessment Incentive.

Property Tax Abatement – PA 198: Industrial property tax abatements provide incentives for eligible businesses to make new investments in Michigan. These abatements encourage Michigan manufacturers to build new plants, expand existing plants, renovate aging plants, or add new machinery and equipment. High technology operations are also eligible for the abatement.

High-technology activity is defined as: advanced computing, advanced materials, biotechnology, electronic device technology, engineering or laboratory testing related to product research and development and advanced vehicles technology or technology that assists in the assessment or prevention of threats or damage to human health or the environment. Abatements under PA 198 can significantly reduce property taxes on new investment for eligible firms.

Property Tax Abatement – PA 328 – Personal Property Tax Relief in Distressed Communities: Public Act 328 allows distressed communities, county seats and certain border county communities to abate personal property taxes (100% exemption in eligible communities) on new investments made by eligible businesses. Eligible location sites include cities, villages and townships that contain distressed areas, as defined under the Michigan State Housing Development Authority Act, and all county seats, as defined under the Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Act.

Brownfield Redevelopment Authority – PA 381: Under the Brownfield Redevelopment Act, a municipality may create a brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) to develop and implement brownfield projects. A BRA is a resource that may use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as a tool for property redevelopment. Any city, village, township or county may create a BRA. A county BRA may be involved with eligible property throughout the county but may not include a project in their brownfield plan unless the affected municipality concurs that the site in their community may be included in the county’s plan.

Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zones: Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zones were created to promote agricultural processing and to enhance the industry in Michigan. APRZs provide businesses with significant benefits by reducing state and local taxes. These zones can be placed anywhere in Michigan, and significantly reduce or eliminate property taxes. The RZ can be designated for up to 20 years.

Border Crossing Renaissance Zones: Border Crossing Renaissance Zones (BCRZ) were created to assist businesses located in a qualified border local governmental unit and displaced or otherwise negatively affected by the development of the international border crossing, and are unable to recover from the displacement or negative effect associated with international trade, shipping, or freight hauling, including but not limited to all of the following: (a) customs brokers; (b) distribution centers; and c) trade supply and repair. BCRZs provide businesses with significant benefits by reducing state and local taxes. These zones can only be within the qualified jurisdictions, and significantly reduce or eliminate property taxes. The RZ can be designated for up to 20 years.

Forest Products Processing Renaissance Zones: Forest Products Processing Renaissance Zones (FPPRZ) were created to promote sustainable forest product operations and to enhance the industry in Michigan. FPPRZs provide businesses with significant benefits by reducing state and local taxes. These zones can be placed anywhere in Michigan and significantly reduce or eliminate property taxes. The RZ can be designated for up to 20 years.

Michigan Strategic Fund Renaissance Zones: Michigan Strategic Fund Renaissance Zones (MSFRZ) were created to promote significant projects in Michigan. MSFRZs provide businesses with significant benefits by reducing state and local taxes. These zones can be placed anywhere in Michigan, with a minimum of three to be designated in rural areas, and significantly reduce or eliminate property taxes. The RZ can be designated for up to 20 years.

Next Michigan Renaissance Zone: Next Michigan Renaissance Zones can only be designated within a Next Michigan Development Corporation. In order to be eligible for the Renaissance Zone benefit, a company would need to qualify as an Eligible Next Michigan Business, locate within approved Next Michigan Renaissance Zone areas and receive appropriate approvals.

Renewable Energy Renaissance Zones: Renewable Energy Renaissance Zones (RERZ) were created to promote renewable energy operations and to encourage the development of those industries in Michigan. RERZs provide businesses with significant benefits by reducing state and local taxes. These zones can be placed anywhere in Michigan, and significantly reduce or eliminate property taxes. The RZ can be designated for up to 20 years.



Talent: From high-tech to skilled trades, Michigan is creating momentum to become a top 10 state for job creation. Developing talent for today and tomorrow’s jobs is priority one, offering companies a deep and diversified talent pool. MEDC works with its sister-department, the Talent Investment Agency, to help companies find and attract the best talent.

Going Pro Talent Fund: The Going PRO Talent Fund (Talent Fund) provides awards to employers to assist in training, developing and retaining current and newly hired employees. Training funded by the Talent Fund must be short-term and fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer

The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity: Workforce Development awards funds to employers through Michigan’s workforce system, commonly known as Michigan Works! Agencies (MWA). MWA Business Services staff conduct fact-finding sessions with employers to assess their talent skill gaps, suitable training providers, and availability of federal funding sources.

Jobs Ready Michigan: The Jobs Ready Michigan program was created by the Michigan Strategic Fund to meet the talent needs of companies that are expanding or relocating to Michigan. The program is designed to be flexible and responsive to the specific talent needs of companies and to address the costs associated with recruiting and training individuals for occupations that are high-wage, high-skill, or high-demand.

Program awards may be used for a variety of activities related to talent recruitment and job training including, but not limited to, employee recruitment expenses, development of customized training development plans, instructor and training materials costs, purchase of equipment related to training, construction of training facilities, and on-the-job training costs.

For more information, view the Jobs Ready program guidelines.

Eligible Applicants

Any company (and/or its affiliates) that is physically located and operating in the state of Michigan or that will be physically located and operating in the state of Michigan and is creating jobs or making capital investment in Michigan is eligible to apply for a grant under the program. A company seeking an incentive under the program must demonstrate that the grant is necessary to address a talent or training gap.

Application Process

A company interested in applying for a grant under the program may submit an application for consideration to the MEDC. The MEDC will consider the following factors in determining whether to make a recommendation to the MSF for an award under the program:

  • Demonstrated talent recruitment and/or training need
  • Number, type, and wage-level of jobs to be created or retained by the company in Michigan
  • Level of capital investment to be made by the company in Michigan
  • Out-of-state competition for the expansion or relocation of the company’s project
  • Whether there is an anticipated net positive return to the state of Michigan through issuance of a program grant
  • Whether the company intends to reuse existing facilities in connection to its creation or retention of jobs in Michigan
  • Business diversification
  • The company ties to Michigan suppliers



Pure Michigan Business Connect: Through economic gardening initiatives, Michigan businesses have new ways to buy and sell, raise capital and connect with each other. Pure Michigan Business Connect is a $3 billion public-private initiative that strengthens our economic gardening philosophy through an alliance of the MEDC, Michigan companies and other Michigan organizations. Pure Michigan Business Connect matches people with resources including venture capital, debt financing, collateral support and other funding assistance; business support services like customized market research, executive and professional talent search assistance, training support, customized site searches and ombudsman services; and additional public/private support such as entrepreneur services, export assistance, legal services and matchmaking with Michigan suppliers.

International Trade Services: Michigan is well-positioned to attract global customers and recognizes global trade as a key component of the state’s economy. MEDC offers business assistance in identifying and pursuing global market opportunities that can help you compete globally and grow your business.

MEDC International Trade Program: The International Trade Program is committed to facilitating opportunities for businesses in the state to export their products around the world so that they can grow and prosper here in Michigan. International Trade Managers are strategically stationed throughout Michigan to act as a concierge service in helping to identify the needs of a company and to connect them with corresponding services. The program leads Michigan businesses to international trade shows and trade missions with matchmaking meetings and networking opportunities available to promote international companies to connect with Michigan businesses. Additionally, MEDC’s international trade centers provide export counseling and market analysis in 92 markets, and more services like legal and cultural training, international website development, and financial assistance are available to help Michigan businesses market their products around the world.

State Trade Expansion Program: Through Michigan’s State Trade Expansion Program (MI-STEP), the International Trade Program offers financial assistance for exporting activities to eligible Michigan small businesses, helping them access global markets and buyers while increasing the dollar value of Michigan exports and spurring Michigan job creation. MI-STEP is a grant program, funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), providing companies direct reimbursement of up to $15,000 per year to offset 50% of export-related costs. The program has three primary objectives:

  • Increase the dollar value of Michigan exports
  • Expand the number of Michigan companies that export
  • Introduce current exporters to new foreign markets and buyers

STEP was launched in 2011 by the SBA as part of the president’s National Export Initiative with a goal to double U.S. exports and give America a stronger competitive edge.

CAPITAL ACCESS PROGRAM: Michigan Economic Development Corporation works to increase the availability of capital for companies in Michigan at every stage of development. MEDC can help connect your business with capital providers – federal grants, venture capitalists, banks, and others – as well as offer programs that can expand the reach of those capital providers.

The Capital Access Program uses small amounts of public resources to generate private lender financing, providing small businesses in Michigan access to capital that might not otherwise be available. Similar to a loan loss reserve fund, the bank, the borrower, and the MEDC pay a small premium into a reserve that makes it possible for the borrower to receive financing.

Collateral Support Program: The Collateral Support Program is funded by federal dollars provided under the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Act of 2010, and is designed to assist lenders and borrowers in financing expansion or diversification projects.

The Collateral Support Program seeks to enable suppliers to acquire the necessary financing that might otherwise be unavailable due to a collateral shortfall according to the lender’s analysis. The program will supply pledged cash collateral accounts to lenders to achieve this goal for approved projects.

MEDC is now accepting applications for the Collateral Support Program.

Loan Participation Program: The Loan Participation Program is funded by federal dollars provided under the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Act of 2010, and is designed to assist lenders and borrowers in financing expansion or diversification projects.

The Loan Participation Program seeks to enable companies to acquire the necessary financing that might otherwise be unavailable due to a cash flow shortage according to the lender’s analysis. The program will participate in loans with lenders to pursue this goal for approved projects. MEDC is now accepting applications for the Loan Participation Program.

Private Activity Bonds: The MEDC works to support companies and organizations that will help facilitate continued economic growth and investment in the state. Through the MSF Act, the MEDC has the authority to issue Private Activity Bonds. These Private Activity Bonds fill a gap in the marketplace for eligible borrowers to obtain financing that may not otherwise be available under similar terms of repayment (i.e. they would have to be borrowed at a rate that would be cost prohibitive).

A Private Activity Bond is issued by a municipality, including state agencies, for the benefit of economic growth purposes. They are privately funded, with no financial obligations taken on by the issuing municipality and are typically tax-exempt for the investor.  The state does not have any financial liability or risk at any step of this process.

Public facilities, which generate a revenue stream, (parking structures for instance) have traditionally been financed by municipalities through tax-exempt “revenue bonds.” Private activity bonds apply this same tax-exempt finance mechanism to the “public purpose” of economic development. The governmental unit borrows money from private capital markets, secured only by the project’s revenues rather than the government’s full faith and credit. Interest income earned on bonds issued by a governmental entity to finance a project for a private company which has demonstrated a good public purpose is exempt from federal, state, and local income taxes, thereby reducing the cost of capital (including the cost of letters of credit, remarketing fees, etc.).


SmartZones: SmartZonessm provide distinct geographical locations where technology-based firms, entrepreneurs and researchers locate in close proximity to all of the community assets that assist in their endeavors. SmartZone technology clusters promote resource collaborations between universities, industry, research organizations, government and other community institutions, growing technology-based businesses and jobs. New and emerging businesses in SmartZone technology clusters are primarily focused on commercializing ideas, patents and other opportunities surrounding corporate, university or private research institute R&D efforts.

Michigan Pre-Seed Fund 2.0: Invest Michigan has a contract with the Michigan Strategic Fund to direct and manage the $12 million Michigan Pre-Seed Fund 2.0. The Fund provides equity and debt capital up to $500,000 to early stage companies in advanced automotive, manufacturing and materials, agricultural technology, alternative energy, homeland security and defense, information technology, life sciences and other innovative technology areas. The fund also assists its client companies by connecting them to other funding and resources.

Invest Michigan, working with Michigan entrepreneurs to build high-tech sustainable enterprises by providing capital, connection to resources and partnering to grow their businesses Contact your local SmartZone for more information and visit www.investmichigan.org

Michigan Emerging Technologies Fund: Federal research and development funds support a critical stage for many technology companies as they move from the laboratory to the marketplace. The Emerging Technologies Fund administered by the Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) for the MEDC matches federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Research SBIR/STTR funding opportunities for exceptional research and technical innovation generated in Michigan. The ETF will match 25% of phase I SBIR/STTR awards up to $25,000, and 25% of phase II SBIR/STTR awards up to $125,000.  https://sbdcmichigan.org/etf/

Michigan Translational Research Acceleration and Commercialization Fund (MTRAC) Program: The Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization Fund (MTRAC) statewide program support the translation of research into the commercial market through start-ups and licenses with the goal of creating high-tech companies and jobs in Michigan. MTRAC supports projects from institutions of higher education, nonprofit research centers and hospital systems, focusing on competitive-edge technology and bio economy technologies with commercialization potential based on private sector interest. MTRAC statewide innovation hubs support five key technical areas: life sciences, advanced transportation, ag bio, advanced computing, and applied advanced materials.

First Capital Fund: The First Capital Fund provides “genesis” funds (up to $150,000) to new technology companies at the earliest stages of commercialization in the State of Michigan. The program provides funding up to $150K through quick, flexible financial instruments. The fund is milestone driven and focused on helping companies achieve follow-on funding from angel or venture investors within 12 months. For additional details and to apply, visit https://investdetroit.com/id-ventures/

Michigan Angel Fund: The Michigan Angel Fund (MAF) provides funding to capital efficient early stage companies located in Michigan. MAF works closely with other stakeholders in the Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem to ensure that we invest in the most promising companies and to ensure the future success of these companies and our investments. MEDC provides administrative support only, but investments and screening is done by private investors. http://www.miangelfund.com/