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Creating Jobs and Wealth in Distressed Michigan Communities

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Community and individual wealth are typically built through ownership, profit-sharing, and investment, yet the opportunity to use these mechanisms is declining in most communities and has largely been unavailable to many. REI Innovation Fellow Chris Miller, founding Board Member and Chair of the National Coalition for Community Capital (NC3), walks listeners through what community capital is and shares updates on efforts being made to advocate, educate, and build supportive economic development policy for communities. Speaking about the lack of reinvestment of capital in Michigan communities, Miller states “In communities where we don’t have recirculation of capital, it is virtually impossible to build wealth…when a dollar comes into the city of Detroit via somebody’s paycheck, it exits Detroit in less than 20 minutes…” Chris is an experienced Economic Development Specialist and Special Projects Consultant at PlaneWave Instruments.

REI Coordinator Jenan Jondy also questions Chris on HB4691, a bill in the Michigan legislature - a first-in-the-nation - that would build on top of previous law, augmenting capital support for small businesses while encouraging local investment that builds resiliency and wealth within communities.

Download the transcript