(IMLAY CITY) -- Imlay City is one of eight communities across the state of Michigan identified for the strategies they employ to foster entrepreneurial growth and economic development, according to the annual eCities study. The study, conducted by iLabs at the University of Michigan-Dearborn's Center for Innovation Research, identified Imlay City for their incentives, innovative programs and best practices geared toward business development. Imlay City also was recognized as a five star community. In 2012, Imlay City was recognized as a Best Practice Community. Imlay City is the first community to receive this award in two consecutive years. An additional 44 communities were also recognized as five-and four-star performers. Five-star communities spend a combined $2.2 million on economic development, have 15 percent of Michigan's population with a professional degree and 92 percent share services related to economic development with another municipality. Marine City was recognized as a five-star community.