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Jennifer Cornell

The go-to-girl for new economy public relations and proud co-owner of local fitness club, Joust, Jennifer Cornell is a daily fixture in Ann Arbor's biz scene. She volunteers at several non-profits and sits on the Governor’s Council for Labor and Economic Growth. Jenn will be writing about being an entrepreneur in today's economy and what she sees on the local horizon.

Jennifer Cornell - Post 2: A Balanced Diet For Michigan

Balanced Diet Gives Michigan a Fighting Chance, Brighter Future

Here’s a true confession: I’m addicted to Cocoa Pebbles. I can’t get enough of ‘em, but I know enough to exercise restraint and not indulge in their sugary, chocolate goodness for 3 meals a day.

I mean, it’s pretty basic common sense.

Diversity is good when it comes to what you eat, how you workout, how you live life, how you run a business. It defies logic to think you have a solid business when you rely on income from one, maybe two, big customers. Sure, you generate income and are seemingly successful, but if that big customer folds their operations or chooses another vendor, you’ve likely taken a fatal blow to your business.

Remind you of Michigan’s auto industry diet? We can’t expect to be successful, long-term, by subsisting on a diet of cars and trucks.

Bright stars in our economy are showing how it’s done, and give a peek at our future economy:

Adaptive Materials, a growing Ann Arbor fuel cell company, represents Michigan’s green collar potential. As one of the only fuel cell companies in the world actually manufacturing product, Adaptive Materials is hiring by re-training our state’s displaced automotive and manufacturing workers and producing new economy talent.

Biotechnology Business Consultants has helped growing Michigan businesses secure more than $40 million in undiluted, grant-based funding. It’s helped multitudes of displaced biotech workers start their own business, ultimately retaining valuable knowledge workers in our economy.

Michigan’s University Research Corridor -- Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University — has generated 552,328 alumni who live, work and pay taxes in Michigan, and represent 7.2 percent of the state’s adult population. URC partners help create thousands of new jobs, working with businesses to turn ideas into commercial enterprises.

Industries that leverage our engineering and technical strengths are the backbone of where our economy is headed. A mass of smaller, thriving businesses can produce as much income, hire as many talented people, and support Michigan just as well – and even better – than 3 big businesses. As a state, as peers, as leaders, we need to continue to support these growing businesses.

There are thousands upon thousands of small, growing businesses in Michigan that are committed to growing our economic future.

I invite you to post in the comments below those growing businesses in our state that you see representing our healthy, balanced economy.

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