Oakland Thrive began with an idea. 

During the pandemic, Oakland County jumped into action to support small businesses that were struggling to survive and then to come back to life after an extended shut down.

The County leadership was looking for a way to identify small and micro businesses in order to help them navigate this strange new world.

The Economic Outlook forecast for Oakland County in 2020 identified that the county overall was in good economic shape, but that there were several regions that were underperforming. 

Oakland Thrive works to bolster economic development throughout Oakland County, an affluent and desirable area that attracts both residents and business owners. Currently, many regions in Oakland County have household incomes that greatly exceed the average across Michigan and our nation, especially the City of Birmingham and Bloomfield Township. However, other areas, including cities such as Pontiac and Auburn Hills, have incomes far below the statewide average and that of neighboring communities. By connecting with small and micro businesses in every Oakland County region and providing free support and services, Oakland Thrive will close prosperity gaps and level the playing field for all of the areas we serve.

A chef preparing multiple plates of food
Black man working as a DJ in a club
Asian woman and white man looking at a piece of technology while in a manufacturing facility

The chart shows the average adjusted income from 2012–2019 for Oakland County’s eight Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) designated by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Oakland County was awarded funding from federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars. That funding required that the recipients put resources into programs and services that would be transformational and sustainable.

Oakland Thrive was created to be just that. The PUMA regions that were under performing economically were also the regions that had higher rates of minorities and minority-owned small businesses.

The idea of creating an organization that could itself become sustainable and, in turn, be a transformational resource for Oakland County’s thriving and inclusive economies became Oakland Thrive.

Oakland Thrive was opened in March of 2023 and will partner with Oakland County and other state-wide and regional organizations to help realize Oakland County’s vibrant and inclusive economy through direct small business support, project management, defense and aerospace development and business intelligence.

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Together Helping Realize Inclusive & Vibrant Economies

Together Helping Realize Inclusive & Vibrant Economies

Together Helping Realize Inclusive & Vibrant Economies


We are committed to fairly providing opportunities to every person we serve so that all can share in the prosperity of the region.


We are committed to being attentive to trends, opportunities, and potential setbacks and being proactive in our approach.


We are committed to working together with our clients as partners committed to their success.


We are committed to being agile and flexible in order to meet the needs of the people we serve.


We are committed to operating with full transparency and being held accountable to the public, government, stakeholders, and people we serve.


We are committed to an inclusive economic environment that is reflective of the diverse cultural, racial, and socio-economic community we serve.