Thomas Ivacko quoted in Crain's Detroit Business article on small businesses

June 20, 2012
Thomas Ivacko discussed economic gardening in Michigan in Crain's Detroit Business: "How government and business scrambled to save a U.P. paper company." The article focused on Manistique Papers, a paper company in Manistique, Michigan.

The company, Manistique's largest employer, had been on the point of bankruptcy before the state helped organize several Michigan financial firms into buying the company's loans and found an out-of-state equity firm to buy the company itself. This assistance is emblematic of Governor Snyder's approach, called economic gardening, of strengthening the state's economy by supporting existing Michigan companies instead of recruiting new ones from other states. Synder supports these existing businesses with financial strategies, rather than tax breaks.

Ivacko, who administered a Michigan Public Policy Survey on economic gardening in 2010, told Crain's that this type of management is becoming more popular in Michigan, but that using it to the exclusion of tax incentives would probably not be effective. "In my view, much like regular gardening, a pure economic gardening approach alone would take some real patience in order to see results such as significant job creation and economic growth," he said.