News from Dobies for Mayor

August 15, 2017

Contact: Derek Dobies, (517) 618-1452

Dobies Outlines Priorities for Jackson Business Development, Job Growth

JACKSON – Today Jackson Vice Mayor Derek Dobies outlined his agenda for attracting new jobs and business development to the City of Jackson. Dobies’ plan focuses on five main components that will reinvigorate Jackson’s local economy.

“We need more jobs in Jackson, and as Mayor I will lead an aggressive effort to attract new business and new job opportunities for our residents,” said Dobies. “We need to spur development, attract new talent and ensure that our city policies and programs are encouraging that entrepreneurial spirit in our city.”

Five facets of his plan will lead to opportunity for all in Jackson, Dobies said:

  1. Enhance neighborhoods by removing blight, fixing our road infrastructure, creating walkable neighborhoods, developing main corridors as entryways into the city, and strategically developing business districts to support walkable access to daily needs.

  2. Spur development by leveraging downtown assets, moving to form-based code, enhancing the development review process, launching an aggressive marketing campaign, and achieving redevelopment ready community certification via the MEDC.

  3. Attract talent through creative placemaking, targeted recruitment activities, workforce training and skilled trades opportunities, leveraging partnerships with businesses and educational institutions, and branding Jackson as the energy capital of Michigan.

  4. Encourage entrepreneurship by matching budding small businesses with angel investors, exploring new venture capital partnerships, and creatively matching great companies with great buildings in Jackson.

  5. Promote smart growth by cutting unnecessary regulations, evaluating purchasing to support “Invest/Buy Local” efforts, and ensure everyone is welcome in our city.

As a member of the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce, Dobies has demonstrated strong leadership in economic development by working to eliminate unnecessary and burdensome licensing and business regulations. Dobies wrote and secured a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration for Jackson startups, and spearheaded creative placemaking projects like Glidden Parker / CP Federal City Square, which has been the catalyst for downtown’s rebirth.

“Before I ran for City Council, Jackson’s economy was struggling. The city was on the brink of emergency financial management, and businesses weren’t eager to move downtown,” said Dobies. “That’s why I’ve stabilized the city’s finances and spent every day in office working hard to bring new energy, new small businesses, and new jobs to Jackson. And that’s exactly what I’ll continue to do if I’m elected to serve as Jackson’s next Mayor.”

Dobies’ growing list of public endorsers includes Shane Stephens and Andrea Ericksen, two millennial business owners in the downtown area.

“When we were considering downtown Jackson as a place to do business, we reached out to Derek,” said Ericksen, who was formerly doing their business out of a borrowed garage in Leoni Township. “Derek not only encouraged us to come downtown, but showed us available properties, and sat down with city administrators to consider incentives that might make a urban food co-op possible in downtown Jackson. Now we’re operating a successful business downtown with plans to grow!”

“As a young entrepreneur myself, I know that Derek has what it takes to lead our city to a more prosperous future,” said Shane STEPHENS, owner of the new EpIQ Escapes on Wildwood. “His experience and vision will help more startups flourish in Jackson and attract new talent to our city. That not only makes my business successful, it makes our community stronger.”

Dobies is a small business owner, member of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, and member of the Graphic Artists Guild. More information about his priorities for job creation and small business development can be found at

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