The city of Wixom has taken home another award as one of seven communities statewide recognized as 2012 top performers at fostering entrepreneurial growth and economic development in a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan (U-M) Dearborn School of Management.
Wixom City Manager Mike Dornan represented the city and was honored with the award on Oct. 30.
“This year and in 2008, Wixom was recognized as a five-star community. This year’s award was based on the results of the 11 judges’ review of the community’s survey. It’s pretty stiff competition,” Dornan said. “The focus wasn’t on the survey on the application, quite honestly, as in the past because of the time spent in reviewing and revamping the organization to meet the financial challenges this year.
“Next year I forecast we will be a top performer because of the work done on the master plan revision that includes the reference to the Ford Wixom Assembly Plant gateway district and its demolition; as well as the work done on jump-starting the VCA (Village Center Area) by recruiting the housing development project; and selling city land to developers to the hearing impaired; and the pending sale of the property across the street. How we do this will rank high in the eyes of the reviewers,” he said.
This is Wixom’s fifth receipt of the award. The city was also honored for entrepreneurial excellence in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
This year, a record number of 114 communities were surveyed from 40 counties in Michigan. Of the five- and four-star communities, many have an economic development director or coordinator; Wixom, however, does not.
Instead, economic development, business retention and attraction are handled by a coalition of people specialized in various areas of economic development.
Researchers found that Wixom demonstrates the understanding of small business needs for success by communicating with them and providing connections to broader resources by quickly identifying business and economic trends.
Dornan lauded Wixom’s operational culture that he said is conducive to entrepreneurship and business development.
“Wixom is particularly proud to again be recognized as being exemplary in using a combination of the best governmental and business practices to retain and attract business. This translates into jobs,” he said.
The study focused on entrepreneurship because of its importance to expansion and diversification of Michigan’s regional economies, and the impact small businesses have on job creation.
Of the 22 five-star communities, the Oakland County winners include Wixom, Novi, Troy, Rochester Hills, and Auburn Hills.