Gov. Rick Snyder today signed into law a bill that expands the number of industries that can apply for funding through the 21st Century Jobs Fund.
Senate Bill 144, sponsored by Mike Green, R-Mayville, will allow companies in information technology and agricultural processing to compete for funds to build their businesses and create jobs.
Previously, only companies in certain industries were able to compete for grants and loans through the fund. Those industries, which continue to be eligible for the funding, are advanced automotive manufacturing and materials technology, homeland security and defense technology, life sciences technology and alternative energy.
Besides adding the two new sectors, the legislation gives the board of the Michigan Strategic Fund flexibility to consider awarding grants and loans to any company that can demonstrate significant advancements in any innovative technology.
The fund, launched in 2006 and seeded with $1 billion by the state, reported that it had attracted $1.8 billion in private and federal investment by the end of last year.
Opening the 21st Century Jobs Fund to a larger base of companies will help create “an environment where small businesses can grow and create jobs,” Snyder said in a release.