The City of Romulus has been named a 2023 eCities Honored Community for successes and efforts in contributing to growth in Michigan. The designation was given as part of the annual eCities study, conducted by iLabs, the University of Michigan-Dearborn Office of Engagement and Impact. The four other honored communities are the cities of Eastpointe, Lansing, Royal Oak, and the Charter Township of Delta.
“The recognition by UM's iLabs is validation that our team and city are on the right track. Where we have received four and five star certifications prior, the increased distinction as an “honored community” is a re-affirming compliment,” said Romulus Mayor Robert A. McCraight.
“Creative ideas and forward thinking will help the City of Romulus continue to grow and realize the goals and expectations that were set in 1970 when Romulus first became a city over 50 years ago. A recent visioning project that was undertaken in 2022 clearly indicated the residents of Romulus wanted us to capitalize on our strategic location, and continue to focus on developing a sustainable market for economic growth that will attract additional stakeholders and continue to improve the quality of life for our residents and visitors alike,” McCraight added.
The eCities study analyzed publicly available data from 277 communities in 54 counties of Michigan. Researchers focused on the five-year changes in property values, community assets, and tax rates, which can demonstrate the growth, investments, and cost of doing business within the community. For example, during the five-year period of 2018-2022, these communities increased their capital assets by an average of 3.42 percent per year by investments such as park and road improvements, new police and fire equipment, and water system enhancements. Further, these places are home to 87 percent of Michigan real commercial property and have 64 percent of the total state property value, according to iLabs research.
Communities that have seen the strongest growth in business development over the past five years, while controlling the costs of doing business in town, are designated as five- and four-star communities. Additionally, in 2023 the study also included an optional, qualitative survey. Responses to three open-end questions related to business climate improvement efforts and small business support were evaluated by a panel of reviewers to select the 2023 Honored Communities.
Although accounting for less than 20 percent of state cities and townships, the 277 communities analyzed are home to 71 percent of Michigan's population and 86 percent of the state's commercial property, according to iLabs data.
“Each year, the eCities project aims to highlight the successes and continued commitment of cities and townships to grow business and support entrepreneurship within their communities,” said Kari Kowalski, iLabs project manager.