Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to spend $2.1 billion to stimulate economic prospects for the state’s small businesses, communities and middle-class residents.
The Democratic governor laid out the proposal Monday that would allocate $651 million to support small businesses, $722 million “to grow the middle class” and $800 million to build community housing.
The plan builds on a plan Whitmer announced in June, the Michigan Economic Jumpstart Plan, that sought to invest money in small businesses, childcare and payroll.
The allocations would require the support of the GOP-led Michigan Legislature, which is tasked with allocating much of the federal COVID relief dollars the state has received.
“As we emerge from the once-in-a-century pandemic, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to use billions in federal resources to grow Michigan’s middle class, support small businesses, and invest in our communities,” Whitmer said in a statement.
The $722 million would break down to about $215 million to expand the college scholarship programs, Michigan Reconnect and Future for Frontliners, $100 million for the Going Pro skilled trades program, and $100 million for college-bound low-income new high school graduates. About $79 million would go to students who have nearly completed everything they need for a degree, $70 million to bring more talent into industry and other investments would go to increase work experience opportunities for those earning their GEDs or leaving incarceration.
Whitmer’s $651 million plan for small businesses would include $300 million in grants to restaurants and small businesses, $200 million for “high-tech, high-growth start-ups,” $40 million for electric vehicle charging stations, $11 million for STEM internships and $100 million to prepare the workforce and companies for “opportunities of the future.”
The $800 million in housing and community investment would include $100 million to build more units, $100 million to rehab vacant buildings, $200 million to redevelop brownfield sites, $100 million to build “development-ready sites,” and $50 million for more energy-efficient homes.
“The proposed investments in training and education will create opportunities for our citizens and growth in manufacturing,” said John Walsh, president and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturing Association. “We look forward to working with the Whitmer Administration and the legislature as they finalize their recommendations.”