DETROIT-The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has created new “Border-to-Border” Renaissance Zones to spur private investments and job creation in 10 Michigan locations. Businesses and individuals within the Border-to-Border Renaissance Zone willbe exempt from nearly all state and local taxes from January 1 through 2011.

The zone will include a about 633 acres in the following locations:

* Belding (Ionia County)

* Middleville Village (Barry County)

* Coldwater (Branch County)

* Hudson (Lenawee County)

* Morenci (Lenawee County)

* Crystal Falls (Iron County)

* Escanaba (Delta County)

* AuGres (Arenac County)

* Gladwin (Gladwin County)

* Big Rapids Township (Mecosta County)

Eric Zuzga, executive director of the Branch County Economic Growth Alliance, says he is optimistic that the new zones will lead to new economic development and jobs in Branch County, as well as in the other locations.

Created in 1996, the Renaissance Zone program sets aside geographic areas of the state as virtually tax-free for any business or resident located in or moving to one of the zones.

The MEDC and local communities use the zone’s tax-free status to encourage development in areas that are economically distressed.

Since the program’s inception, the zones have led to new private investments of more than $1.3 billion and created more than 5,800 jobs.

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