Community Capital Club (C3) grants $20,000 to Entrepreneurial Emerge Fund

St. Clair County, Michigan -- The Community Capital Club (C3) of St. Clair County is pleased to announce it will grant $20,000 in pre-seed funding to the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County to support entrepreneurial development in the region.  The grant and additional funding from EDA will form the new Emerge Fund in support of virtual clients of The Underground Incubator and Business Service Center.

The Community Capital Club is a component fund of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. “We’re proud to be part of the effort to grow our local entrepreneurial community,” said Mike Wendling, Chair of C3 and a board member of the Community Foundation.  “Local entrepreneurs are often deeply vested in their communities and its people.  If an entrepreneur becomes successful and we are able to be a small part of that, it’s like the gift that truly keeps on giving.  The dividends back to our community have a return on investment that cannot be measured simply in jobs or new business starts."

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Investment firm Otsi Keta Capital feels right at home in St. Clair

Managing partners of Otsi Keta Capital LLC, have found advantages to doing business in St. Clair. Who needs to be based in Chicago when you can call St. Clair, Mich., home? That's the philosophy of Otsi Keta Capital LLC, a boutique investment firm in St. Clair that relocated from Chicago to St. Clair in 2011.  View the full article featured in Crain's Detroit Business here:

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St. Clair County Special Report in Crain's Detroit Business

Businesses are growing in the Blue Water region, the craft beer is brewing, and the pace of development continues to accelerate. Through it all, philanthropists, business owners, educators, and real estate developers are collaborating in innovative ways to build competitive talent pipelines, attract investors to new ventures, and invigorate downtown life. Read about the investment firm that chose to locate its $19 million fund in St. Clair instead of Chicago, the brewery that's planning a $5 million, 10,000-beer-barrel expansion, a "reverse scholarship" that pays people to relocate to the area, and more in our Crain's Michigan Business special report:


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EDA Shares 2016 Results and Recognizes Area Businesses

On Tuesday, February 14, 2017, the Economic Development Alliance (EDA) of St. Clair County hosted its Semi-Annual Luncheon at Alexander's Banquet Center in Marysville, Michigan.  The luncheon featured keynote speaker, Trevor Lauer.  Mr. Lauwer is President and Chief Operating Officer at DTE Electric, an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. 

The EDA shared that 2016 was a very good year for St. Clair County and Greater Port Huron with strong investment in medical, automotive, logistics and retail. The region had $103 million in countywide investment, 759 new jobs and 32 expansion projects last year. 

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Grifols opening new Talecris Plasma Resources plasma donor center in Port Huron, MI.

Grifols is pleased to announce the opening of its newest donor center in Port Huron.  This state-of-the-art 15,000 square foot facility is the latest addition to Grifols' extensive plasma collection network.  Grifols is a global healthcare company that produces life-saving plasma medicines for people with rare, chronic and life-threatening conditions.   

The center has currently hired 25 people from the local area, with expectations to increase to 40 to 50 employees as the center expands their operations.  Grifols invested $2.5 million in the construction and set up of the the donor center, whose design will incorporate new industry technologies including Donor Doc, a donor-self registration platform that helps improve donor screening efficiency.  

Grifols projects it will ultimately contribute over $6.0 million each year to the local economy through payroll, donor fees and other operating expenses.  
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P.J. Wallbank Springs Expansion to Create 68 jobs and $803,000 Investment

Port Huron, Michigan – January 11, 2017  

P.J. Wallbank Springs, Inc., founded 35 years ago in Port Huron, is the global leader in the design and manufacture of spring packs for automatic transmissions.  An engineering focused company, the organization started by designing and building its own proprietary manufacturing equipment in order to produce its spring packs, a strategy it continues to utilize to this day.  Today, the organization exports 40% of its production outside of the United States, with over 60% of its export volume being shipped to China.  Core to the organization’s long term success, has been the organization’s people.

The company is currently experiencing significant growth, where production will more than double through 2018.  This growth is a function not only of domestic growth, but also of export growth.  PJWS plans to double the current number of customers in China and triple the current number of customers in Europe in the next three years.  As a result of this growth, the organization plans to expand its existing facility in Port Huron, investing $803,000 and creating 68 jobs.

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Capital Expansion at ALD Thermal Treatment

St. Clair County, Michigan

ALD Thermal Treatment, on 24th Street, has recently begun a multi-million dollar expansion plan to accommodate space and equipment for new long-term business agreements.  ALD is a major heat treat supplier to the automotive and aerospace industries and was recently awarded multi-year contracts with General Motors to provide heat treatment for critical engine and transmission components.  These contracts, along with several other recently attained agreements, in addition to numerous current programs, extend well into the next decade. 

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Marine City Hotel (Inn On Water Street) Groundbreaking

A 26-unit, three-story boutique hotel including four condominiums is slated to open at the former site of Terhune Automotive on Bridge Street by summer 2018.

A groundbreaking for the inn took place Oct. 25, attracting nearly 60 people including Marine City Mayor Ray Skotarczyk, St. Clair County Commissioner Bill Gratopp, state Rep. Dan Lauwers and Sen. Phil Pavlov, as well as representatives from the multiple organizations that assisted in getting the project started.

The project is the largest private investment for the city in decades, officials said. It took the effort of federal, state, county and local resources to come to fruition.

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DTE Energy Announces $1.5 billion investment in St. Clair County Power Plant

DTE Energy announced plans to build new electric generation capacity natural-gas powered plants worth between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in 2023.  The plant(s) will generate 1,000 megawatts of power, enough to serve 850,000 homes.

In June, the company announced its intentions of retiring the coal-fired St. Clair Power Plant, as well as those in River Rouge and Trenton, by 2023. The St. Clair Power Plant sits on the St. Clair River in East China Township and is contiguous to the Belle River plant.

The new plant will mean cleaner air for local residents and make a dent in carbon dioxide emissions, the main driver of climate change.

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