News Story

Company Defaults on $300,000 From State For Project, Repays $45,827

MEDC had boasted grant proved ‘the success of our strategy’

NEMO Capital Partners, a Southfield-based investment firm that specializes in medical technology, was awarded a $500,000 state grant from the Michigan Business Development Program in July 2014.

The award, a so-called performance grant, was premised upon NEMO’s intention to consolidate operations previously conducted in Ohio and New Jersey, creating 125 new jobs, and investing $2.2 million in a new headquarters in Southfield.

In a contemporaneous report by Crain’s Detroit Business, then-MEDC CEO Michael Finney praised the grant to NEMO, and two other grants as well. “Today’s investments,” he said, “offer further evidence of Michigan’s improving economy and the success of our strategy to help companies grow and add jobs here.”

A year later, an annual report to lawmakers about the grant program indicated that the NEMO award had been increased to $700,000.

In 2016, however, program officials mentioned in a footnote to the annual report: “Subsequent to September 30 2016 the company defaulted. (State officials) are in discussions to resolve the default.”

By 2017, the NEMO grant agreement was described as terminated, with a net total of zero permanent new jobs created. The state also reported the company had repaid $45,827 out of $300,000 in grant funding that had been disbursed.

NEMO Capital, also known as NEMO Health, remains in business in Southfield. The company did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

MEDC spokesman Otie McKinley said, in response to an emailed request for explanation, that no further information would be provided unless a formal Freedom of Information Act request was submitted.