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Business Leaders for Michigan is an organization dedicated to making Michigan a "Top Ten" state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. Serving as the state's business roundtable, Business Leaders for Michigan is composed of the chairpersons, chief executives or most senior executives of the state’s largest job providers and universities. Read more...

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Michigan CEOs Review Economic Progress, Discuss Statewide Prosperity at Summit

State Must Boost Value if Growth Is to Continue 

DETROIT, Mich., November 12, 2015 — Michigan’s economic future is threatened by a lack of cohesion behind a common strategy for growing the economy and prioritizing investments in areas that will improve the state’s overall competitiveness such as education and training beyond high school, innovation and assets and economic development according to panelists presenting at today’s CEO summit hosted by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) in Detroit. 

An audience of 500 senior leaders from the fields of business, policy, education and advocacy gathered at the Westin Book Cadillac for updates and discussion related to Michigan’s economic growth.   

“Thanks to major policy changes since 2009, Michigan’s economy has experienced a surge of growth that has outpaced nearly all other U.S. states,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “However, our progress in absolute terms is still very low compared to our peers. If we want to attract fresh talent and new employers, we need to make absolutely sure the value Michigan offers is worth the cost of locating here.” 

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Business Leaders for Michigan issues statement in response to action on the road funding package 

DETROIT, Mich., November 3, 2015  – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today issued the following statement in response to the passage of the road funding package. 

“This road funding package provides substantial funding toward fixing our roads. While it doesn't meet all of our objectives for funding transportation – it meets many of them,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO. “Moving forward, we will monitor the state’s finances to ensure the goals of this multi-year funding plan are met and continue to encourage the state to prioritize investments to make college more affordable and to support job training and economic development as these are also critical priorities that are important to growing jobs and our economy.” 


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BLM 3Q Economic Forecast: Short-term growth slightly positive, long-term growth flat

DETROIT, Mich., Oct 29, 2015 – According to a survey conducted by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, most business leaders forecast the Michigan and U.S. economies will grow modestly over the next six months, followed by flat growth over the next 18 months.

“The majority of Michigan’s largest job providers believe that the state’s economy will remain stronger than the nation’s over the next eighteen months, but growth will slow in both markets,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO. “The economic recovery is entering its seventh year – historically a long time for expansions. Growth is slowing, but America remains a bright spot in the world economy and Michigan will likely out-perform the nation over the next eighteen months.” 

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Business Leaders for Michigan and Michigan Municipal League issue joint statement on road funding proposals 

DETROIT, MI, Oct. 20, 2015—Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable representing 80 of the largest employers, and the Michigan Municipal League, which represents Michigan cities, villages and urban townships as well as several affiliate organizations, today jointly issued the following statement in response to the road funding proposals being discussed by the Michigan Legislature:

“We’ve been talking about the need to invest new dollars in Michigan’s infrastructure for four years. There have been multiple plans and several 'close calls' without a solution. We are at that point again," said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan.

The Governor and legislative leaders agreed in principle to a solution that raises at least $800 million in new revenue, while using no more than $400 million in existing funds, to fix our crumbling roads, repair our deteriorating bridges, and invest in transit. Experts agree this total of $1.2 billion is the minimum level of investment needed to fix our transportation network. Business Leaders for Michigan and the Michigan Municipal League support this solution, and we support the call by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof for a conference committee vote on this solution, Rothwell said.

“Some are advocating for a solution that uses even more General Fund dollars for roads. We have serious concerns about any proposal that relies on using more than $400 million in General Fund revenues," Rothwell said. "Using the General Fund beyond that level isn’t sustainable and puts other critical needs at risk – ranging from potential Medicaid shortfalls and less money for community services to higher tuition bills and weaker efforts to attract jobs. These priorities are just as important as fixing potholes.”

Using general fund dollars also could have a negative impact on essential services in local communities, said Dan Gilmartin, Executive Director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League.

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Business Leaders for Michigan Takes Michigan Ambassador Program to Silicon Valley

Michigan’s turnaround to be highlighted at The Commonwealth Club

San Francisco, October 1, 2015 — Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state's business roundtable, today brings the Michigan Ambassador Program to the heart of San Francisco. State execs meet with local leaders that have Michigan ties, sharing news of Michigan’s comeback and growth opportunities that exist in the state's emerging mobility industry.

“In just a few short years, Michigan has transformed itself and its business climate,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “The steps Michigan has taken to become more competitive have paid off.  Our tax climate has flipped from one of the nation’s worst to one of the best; Michigan is a national leader in terms of R&D production and talent; and Michigan’s per capita GDP, per capita income and employment have all grown faster than the national average and are reaffirming our state’s quality of life. Simply put, we’re now a top place nationally to live, work, do business, and play.”

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