Michigan Economic Development Corporation

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan's top economic development official is defending his agency after an audit flagged it for not verifying job-creation data submitted by companies getting grants and loans. 

Michael Finney told lawmakers Wednesday that media coverage of the recent audit was misleading. The head of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. says too much attention was paid to an instance where companies getting grants under one program met 19 percent of employment projections instead of the 75 percent figure reported to legislators.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   A state audit finds the Michigan Strategic Fund overstated job-creation data by companies that have received grants through government incentive programs. 

Michigan's Auditor General report released Tuesday shows companies getting grants under the 21st Century Job Trust Fund's Centers of Energy Excellence Program met 19 percent of original employment projections. The Strategic Fund told the Legislature the companies created 75 percent of the jobs promised.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   State auditors are knocking Michigan's tax-free Renaissance Zones, saying commerce officials haven't come up with a way to measure the program's effectiveness. 

A report released Wednesday says the state relies on reports from businesses and hasn't verified the number of new jobs or how much private money has been invested.

LANSING, MI (AP)--  The state's "Pure Michigan" tourism campaign is getting ready to launch a $2.2 million winter advertising push.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. on Thursday said the campaign's website has been revamped with a winter theme. TV, radio and billboard ads in key markets in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin will follow beginning on Dec. 31 and run through the end of January.

Pure Michigan also is launching a new interactive video series to highlight activities available in Michigan throughout the winter season.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The state's "Pure Michigan" tourism campaign is launching a $2.6 million fall advertising push and has revamped its website.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation on Wednesday said the revamped website will feature an interactive map as well as a trip planner tool.

The state says the new website also uses design that eliminates the need to create different sites for different Internet devices.

UNDATED (WNMU) – A newly released survey has found that tourists and travelers spent an estimated $17.2 billion in Michigan last year. That’s up 14 percent from $15.1 billion in 2009.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. released results of the survey Wednesday. The survey found $12.6 billion was spent on travel for leisure and $4.6 billion was spent on business travel.

The survey also found that spending by out-of-state visitors rose 21 percent. It says 152,600 jobs were generated by Michigan’s tourism industry in 2010, up 10,000 from 2009.