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DETROIT-Michigan’s economic development efforts may soon be getting a shot in the arm. The state could name a new director of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. as early as the end of this week, says David Hollister, director of the Michigan Dept. of Consumer and Industry Services.

Moreover, Hollister said, re-authorizing the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, which grants tax incentives and other benefits to businesses, is a high priority of Gov. Jennifer Granholm, he says. MEGA is due to expire at the end of the year.

The MEDC has been without a permanent leader since Jan. 1, when former director Doug Rothwell stepped down–the same day Granholm, a Democrat, was sworn in as governor, replacing Republican John Engler.

“We have a clear favorite for the job, I’m just not sure exactly when the announcement will come,” Hollister telss GlobeSt.com, saying the announcement likely would be late this week or early next. MEDC’s interim director, Sabrina Keeley, is leaving the agency Sept. 19, to take a position with the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce.

Hollister also tells GlobeSt.com that re-authorizing MEGA is a key priority of Granholm’s Manufacturing Matters initiative. MEGA will sunset on Dec. 31 unless the state legislature takes action.

Hollister says MEGA is a key tool to spurring economic growth. “Not a month goes by that we aren’t approving several projects,” he says. “They may individually be small things that don’t generate a lot of attention, but taken together, they are an important piece of Michigan’s economic growth.”

Hollister says some representatives in the state Legislature may oppose the MEGA bill, but that at the moment, he thinks it will likely be re-newed. More than $1 billion in MEGA grants have been awarded since 1995.

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