Friday, March 6, 2009

One-Stop-Shop for Michigan Business

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today unveiled Michigan Business One Stop, a one-of-its-kind program that reforms the way companies will now do business with the state of Michigan. As the governor called for in her 2008 State of the State address, the program provides more than 650,000 businesses across Michigan with a single source for government information and services they need.

"Our one-stop-shop for business represents a significant reform in how we are serving the business community," Granholm said. "We've streamlined our operations and created a single point of entry to state government for businesses that call Michigan home or those looking to establish a presence in our state."

Michigan Business One Stop is an online service that guides users who want to start, operate or expand a business in Michigan. Business owners can apply for or renew permits and licenses, file annual reports and pay unemployment taxes, or any other fees they are subject to under state law. Information is shared across state departments with one, easy e-payment system, and the site provides businesses information about transaction status in a new, paperless environment. In addition to the new web site, the program offers:

- a staffed consolidated call center housed in the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) with expanded weekday hours designed to answer questions and help businesses obtain information and services they need;

- a Michigan business ombudsman who will lead a team at the MEDC to assess business issues and mediate solutions to help both businesses and state agencies move forward in a coordinated fashion. Gregory A. Sando, a former senior employee relations representative with Blue Care Network of Michigan and a long-time manager of workforce relations with Consumers Energy, was recently hired to serve as the ombudsman.

Michigan Business One Stop has been under development for more than a year with the help of Michigan's business community. More than 100 business owners and representatives from business associations assisted in identifying needs and ensuring that the final program addressed those needs.

Among the business people who participated in the focus groups is Debra (Levantrosser) Setman, executive director for business improvement with Johnson and Johnson who spoke on behalf of the program.

"I believe the Michigan Business One Stop may be one of the factors when people are deciding where to start or move a business," Setman said. "The one-stop-shop is a win-win for taxpayers and businesses alike."

Chuck Hadden, president and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association, said his members will benefit from the new program, which is superior to any other state-run business web site in the country.

"We like the idea of having one place businesses can go to get the answers they need," said Hadden. "Secondly, this business portal will give Michigan businesses the ability to easily track their permits and hopefully reduce the length of time it takes for those permits to be issued."

Michigan Business One Stop can be found at

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