Detroit Regional Chamber > Advocacy > Developing: Chamber Insight on SOAR Fund Overhaul

Developing: Chamber Insight on SOAR Fund Overhaul

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024: Legislature Package Passes House Economic Development and Small Business Committee

On June 11, the Michigan House Economic Development and Small Business Committee heard testimony on and passed HB 5768-5770, SB 559, and SB 562, which would collectively overhaul the state’s current Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) Fund.

The five-bill legislation package, which passed the Committee 8-3, is designed to transform Michigan’s economic development. It focuses on enhancing housing, transportation, and other forms of community development, not just creating incentives and tax breaks for businesses, to make Michigan more attractive for top talent within the workforce.

SOAR, created in late 2021 and would be renamed the Make It in Michigan Fund under this proposal, has no ongoing revenue source beyond the 2024-25 fiscal year. The legislation package would create a 10-year extension of $600 million annually to be distributed as follows:

  • $250 million annually to the Make it in Michigan Fund – half of the current level – to give grants to companies for jobs and investments and to prepare sites for future development.
  • $200 million annually to a newly created Michigan Mobility Trust Fund to be equitably distributed to regional transit authorities and public transportation providers by a new five-member state board.
  • $100 million annually to the Housing and Community Development Fund, which the Michigan State Housing Development Authority oversees—doubling the existing allotment.
  • $50 million per year to the Revitalization and Placemaking (RAP) Fund, which would be the same as what is allocated now. The Michigan Strategic Fund, a state economic development arm, issues RAP grants.

Chamber Perspective

The Detroit Regional Chamber supports this legislation, as it aligns with the Chamber’s current economic development policy priorities, which call for holistic, cohesive economic development incentives for organizations already in or that are considering doing business in Michigan.


Present during the Committee vote, the Chamber’s Government Relations team perceives the two abstained Republican votes as openness to further conversations on developing these bills. Regardless, bipartisanship will be critical to passing this legislation and providing resilience for Michigan’s future.


“For decades, regional business leaders have been calling for a long-term economic development strategy that will prove to be resilient and to fund transit and community investments that will attract talent,” said Brad Williams, the Chamber’s Vice President of Government Relations. “This package accomplishes both goals, and the Chamber encourages policymakers to support it with haste.”


The Chamber expects this legislation for House consideration next week.

June 10, 2024: Detroit Regional CEO Group Pens Support Letter to Michigan Legislative Leaders

On June 10, 2024, the Detroit Regional CEO Group penned a letter to the Michigan House and Senate leaders voicing their strong support on passing HB 5768-5770, SB 559, and SB 562.

While the Detroit Regional CEO Group does not believe this package is a silver bullet that will solve all the challenges we face as a state, it is a serious and important step toward a long-term, cohesive economic development strategy that will span administrations and make the state more attractive and competitive.

Related: Crain’s Detroit Business | CEOs Push Legislators to ‘Choose Action Over Inaction’ on Economic Development, Transit