Utility spends $200M with West Michigan businesses


Consumers Energy, founded in 1886, provides electric and natural gas service to 6.7 million Michigan residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties. Photo via fb.com

A utility is reporting that it spent $200 million with businesses located in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties last year.

In June 2015, Consumers Energy committed to spending $5 billion with Michigan businesses by the end of 2020.

Since it announced the commitment, the energy provider said it has spent more than $1 billion — including the $200 million spent in West Michigan — with nearly 3,000 businesses in 71 Michigan counties.

Consumers Energy was one of the first members to join Pure Michigan Business Connect, a public-private alliance of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., or MEDC, state agencies and major Michigan employers working to connect in-state companies to business resources.

When it joined, Consumers pledged to increase its spending with Michigan employers by $1 billion from 2011 to 2015.

The company reached its goal by 2014, and in 2015, it re-upped and increased its spending commitment.

The increased spending has created an estimated 5,000 jobs statewide so far, according to Consumers.

Consumers said it also actively encourages its Michigan-based suppliers to use sub-contractors and suppliers based in the state through its Pay It Forward program to help stimulate economic growth in the state.

Last week, Consumers participated in the West Michigan Buyer’s Summit in Ottawa County, along with MEDC, The Right Place and Lakeshore Advantage, where it further connected with Michigan businesses.

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