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Business leaders hope new entrepreneurs will help with job gap in the Bay region

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
More than 100 entrepreneurs and others took part in a special conference at SVSU Friday.

Business leaders in the Saginaw-Midland-Bay City region hope entrepreneurs will fill the employment gap left by layoffs by major local employers.

In recent years, hundreds of Bay region workers have been laid off by TRW and Dow Corning. There’s also uncertainty about what a proposed Dow Chemical-DuPont merger could mean for thousands of workers. 

Matt Felan is the president of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance. He helped organize an entrepreneurial conference Friday at Saginaw Valley State University. 

He says there’s a “moderate” window, maybe a year or two, to make sure top-flight talent does not leave the region.

“We have talent that’s becoming available here in the region due to some of these changes with our corporations, and we want to keep that talent here,” Felan says.

Felan hopes by encouraging entrepreneurs to set up shop in the Bay region, it will help diversify the local economy.

But he adds they’ll need some help. 

Felan says they need private investors willing to sink money into new, small companies.

He says they also need the state to provide more financial aid to entrepreneurs and local universities.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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