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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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Renaissance Venture Capital Fund Helps to Attract Nearly Half a Billion Dollars of New Investment into Michigan Companies 

DETROIT, Mich., May 19, 2013 – The Renaissance Venture Capital Fund (RVCF), Michigan’s innovative venture capital fund-of-funds, today announced its initial investments have attracted total investments of nearly a half billion dollars in 23 young Michigan companies.

“For every dollar invested by RVCF, we’ve attracted $21 of new capital for Michigan companies,” said RVCF CEO Chris Rizik. “And even more important, we’ve helped create hundreds of high-wage Michigan jobs in the process.”

Rizik said that the average pay for the new jobs created in Michigan is $85,000.

“The combination of prudent, well researched investing and of connecting capital with opportunities has been the key to the success of the RVCF,” Rizik said. “We not only provide capital to increase entrepreneurial activity, we also connect young innovative start-ups with Michigan’s established companies that can become important customers or partners. We have a proven model for expanding innovation, growing jobs and earning solid returns for our investors.”


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BLM supports steps to accelerate Detroit's exit from municipal bankruptcy in a sound fiscal condition

Below you will find a letter from Business Leaders for Michigan to Rep. John Walsh, Chairman of the Committee on Detroit's Recovery and Michigan's Future.  

The Honorable John Walsh
Chairman, Detroit’s Recovery and Michigan’s Future Committee
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI  48909 

Dear Representative Walsh:

Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) supports the state taking steps to accelerate Detroit’s exit from municipal bankruptcy in a sound fiscal condition.  As such, we support the state making a significant contribution to the comprehensive financial restructuring plan being developed by the Emergency Manager.  We also strongly support the establishment of a financial oversight process to ensure the maintenance of sound fiscal practices that will improve city services.  However, we urge the legislature to minimize the imposition of regulations or provisions that might jeopardize the financial restructuring plan’s approval.

Our Michigan Turnaround Plan recognizes the importance of cities, particularly Detroit, to the entire state’s economic growth.  Our position is based on facts that identify our largest cities as the core of state regions that disproportionately drive the economy and are the image of Michigan outside our state’s borders.  For example, the whole state is benefitting from Detroit’s stronger economy and recent positive global media coverage of Detroit’s redevelopment.  As such, we have consistently supported state policies that encourage the redevelopment of cities and actions to help get local finances in order, such as the Emergency Management Act. 

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High Hopes for Detroit

Across Michigan, voters say they want a revitalized, healthy Detroit.  Nearly 90 percent of the statewide voters surveyed at the end of April believe the Motor City offers promise to the state as a whole, and they are eager to see renewal, transformation, and collaboration.

Detroit bankruptcy support

There is a strong sentiment that Detroit is on the right trackA large margin of the people surveyed (66%) say they support a 20-year/$350 million funding proposal that matches state funds with private foundation support to protect City pension benefits and preserve the DIA's art collection.

That's a pretty clear mandate for change.  The Governor and those who have been working hard to identify innovative strategies for Detroit have the support of Michiganders in all regions of the state. Let's use the momentum to deliver meaningful change for us all. It's important to remember that while the City's government structure is going through bankruptcy and righting itself... businesses in the City have been investing and growing.

When it comes to MI's turnaround, we are all Detroiters now. Let's work together and make change happen.


Michigan Voters: “Let’s Fix Detroit”

Statewide Survey Shows Widespread Support for City’s Recovery

DETROIT, Mich., May 8, 2014  Business Leaders for Michigan today released the results of a statewide survey showing more than 87 percent of Michigan voters believe revitalizing Detroit is important to the state’s overall economy. 

In addition, more than 45 percent of Michigan voters approve of the way Gov. Snyder has handled the city’s bankruptcy.

“All across Michigan—from the Upper Peninsula and the Thumb to West and Southeast Michigan—we’re seeing strong value being placed on a healthy Detroit,” said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “Whatever the solution is at the end of the day, it’s clear that voters know we need a strong Detroit to keep building a vital economy for our entire state.”

The BLM survey also showed that a large margin of voters (66%) also support a 20-year/$350 million funding proposal to be used as a state match to private foundation support as part of an overall deal to protect pension benefits and preserve the DIA’s art collection.

 “Voter support for a Detroit funding proposal is above 50 percent in every region of the state and crosses party lines,” Rothwell said.  “Democrats, Republican, Independents—they all support state involvement and support for Detroit’s fiscal health.”

The 600-sample telephone survey of registered likely Michigan General Election voters was conducted by the Glengariff Group between April 22–26, 2014.  The survey has a margin of error of +/-4.0 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.

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Download the press release and survey. 


Business Leaders Forecast: In Short- and Long-Term, Job Leaders Continue to be More Optimistic about MI Economy than U.S. Economy 

DETROIT, Mich., April 23, 2014Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, projects that the Michigan and U.S. economies will grow in the next 6 and 18 months and expects Michigan’s economy to continue to outperform the U.S. economy.

“The good news from this survey is that Michigan’s largest employers continue to be much more optimistic about Michigan’s short- and long-term economic prospects than they were a couple of years ago,” said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO.  “Job providers continue to be bullish on the state’s economic prospects and are backing it up with increased hiring and investment. More than half of Business Leaders for Michigan companies are forecasting increased investment in Michigan over the next six months.

Highlights of the survey of Business Leaders for Michigan include:

  • Fifty-four percent of business leaders believe Michigan’s economy will grow while only 34% forecast the U.S. economy will grow the next six months.  None believe the economy will get worse over the next six months.

  • Optimism continues to be high for Michigan’s economy in the long-term, outpacing optimism for the national economy with 71% of Michigan’s business leaders believing the state’s economy will grow compared to only 46% of business leaders forecasting the U.S. economy will grow in the next 18 months.


  • Fifty-four percent of business leaders project that their companies will add jobs in the next six months in Michigan and over a half believe they will make capital investments in Michigan.

The results reflect a survey of Business Leaders for Michigan’s 80 executives, the state’s largest private sector job providers that represent nearly one-quarter of the state’s economy. 

Quarterly Economic Outlook Reports are available at

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