Democrats Want to Shift Energy Grants to Loan Fund

May 7, 2012

Some Democrats at the state Capitol say Michigan should offer loans instead of grants to help businesses that want to break into the alternative energy field.

Democrats have proposed legislation that would convert federal subsidies to a revolving loan fund. The interest rate would be linked to the number of new jobs a business creates.

State Representative Mark Meadows says any business or start-up would eligible to apply for a loan.

“We aren’t acing anybody out," he says. "It’s targeted towards entrepreneurial activity, but it also can benefit every existing business in the state of Michigan.”

Meadows says businesses would be audited every year to ensure they meet their job-creation targets. Those that don’t would see an increase in their interest rates.

There was no immediate word on whether Republicans or state economic development officials would support the plan.