Granholm: Obama plan would help MI expand lending to suppliers


Governor Granholm was at a White House ceremony where President Obama unveiled a plan to help manufacturers expand into new industries. As Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, the governor says the proposal would help auto suppliers in Michigan and across the country access up to $2 billion in loans.

Auto suppliers can't use their existing equipment as collateral because its value tanked during the recession. But she says they need the loans if they're going to buy equipment to diversify into new and growing fields such as medical devices and alternative energy.

"The big problem that everybody in Michigan knows is that it's difficult accessing credit, getting a loan from a bank," she says.

Michigan has started a small fund to help suppliers with diversification loans. But there's more demand than the available funding. The governor says the Obama administration proposal - if it's approved by Congress -- would allow Michigan to grow its lending program. She says access to loans coupled with a new federal tax credit for hiring workers would encourage suppliers to finally start adding to their payrolls.