Birmingham a top city for business support
In the annual eCities study, Birmingham was honored as a five-star community for entrepreneurial growth and economic development. The annual eCities study is conducted by researchers at iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn's Center for Innovation Research. The 2020 eCities study analyzed publicly available data from 277 communities from 54 counties in Michigan. Birmingham was honored as a five-star community along with 110 other communities across the state. Researchers at iLabs focused on five-year changes in property values, community assets and tax rates, which can demonstrate the growth, investments and the cost of doing business within the community. For example, they pointed out, over the five-year period of 2015-2019, these communities increased their capital assets by an average of 2.4 percent per year by investments such as library equipment, building, water and sewage improvements, and street renovations, while property tax rates increased by less than one 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 70 percent of Michigan’s population and 87 percent of the state’s commercial property, the study pointed out. “The city is pleased to be named among the state’s best communities for fostering economic development in the state. Over the years, the city has strived to create an environment where businesses can thrive by providing outstanding governmental services and reinvestment in the city’s infrastructure,” said Mark Gerber, city of Birmingham Finance Director. “During the five-year period of the study from 2015-2019, the city of Birmingham has seen an average increase in taxable values of 5.1 percent. The city has used these resources to decrease the overall property tax rate by .7 percent per year, while increasing the capital assets of the city by an average of 2.8 percent per year. It is this kind of re-investment in roads, sidewalks, water, sewer and parking system that makes Birmingham a premier place to live, work and play,” said Gerber.