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GREENVILLE, MI-The state has approved a new industrial tax-free Renaissance Zone in this city hit hard by the closing of a major industrial employer. Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed a bill creating the zone in the existing Greenville Industrial Park.

“Greenville is demonstrating to the state and the nation that it is going to be creative and aggressive in helping residents land new job opportunities,” Granholm says. “A tax-free Renaissance Zone, combinedwith the area’s highly skilled workforce, will be a catalyst that will bring businesses and job opportunities back to the city.”

Refrigerator and appliance maker Electrolux said early this year that it would close its Greenville plant and move production to Mexico, putting more than 1,000 people–some who had worked at the plant for decades–out of a job.

Renaissance Zones are regions of the state set aside as virtually tax-free for any business or resident presently located in or moving to one of the zones. The program comprises 166 zones and sub-zones throughout the state and is administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. The designation will be in place at the Greenville location for 15 years.

“Renaissance Zones have been extremely effective at attracting investment and jobs to specific locations that face specific economic challenges,” says MEDC president and chief executive officer Don Jakeway. “The State of Michigan has made a major commitment and show of support to the Greenville community with this new law.”

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