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      Large and small companies look to keep business local

      T he power giant Consumers Energy brought more than 100 different businesses together today to help put an emphasis on local industry.

      T he goal is to have Michigan companies to do business within the state, which could lead to jobs and economic growth.

      " We are supporting each other and it is helping economic development in small communit ies as well as our larger citie s," Marilyn Kapp, Moran Iron Works Public Relations Director said.

      C ompanies like Moran Ironworks in Onaway is an active member of Michigan's business-to-business network, which helps put small companies into the purchasing pipeline of the state's business giants.

      S ince they've joined the network , it has led them to millions of dollars in local contracts .

      "K eeping the dollars in Michigan has helped us as a company hire more people," Kapp noted.

      T hat local mentality is something that is starting to grow on many of the state's larger industries and now they are looking to the north for new opportunities.

      " The northern part of the state is full of great resources , but a lot of people just don't know what's up here ," Dan Malone, Consumers Energy Senior Vice President said.

      O ne of the largest supporting businesses that has made a commitment to this statewide initiative is Consumers Energy.

      T hey made a one billion dollar pledge to purchase Michigan made goods and services over a five year span. So far, they have already met 70 percent of their commitment to smaller businesses around the state.