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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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Where does Michigan rank in supporting entrepreneurs? 

Creating a great environment to support entrepreneurs isn't just about low tax rates.  If that was the case, Michigan would be number one - we exempt small business from paying our corporate income tax.  

Entrepreneurs also need talent (Michigan ranks below average in education attainment), infrastructure (Michigan has some of the worst roads in the nation) and quality support programs for entrepreneurs (Michigan has many, but they're uneven in quality).

See all the rankings in Entrepreneur: 10 Best States for Starting a Business

Michigan Economic Rankings


Business Leaders for Michigan issues statement in response to the defeat of Proposal 1

DETROIT, Mich., May 6, 2015  – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today issued the following statement expressing its disappointment over the defeat of Proposal 1 and the need for urgency in finding an alternative solution to fix Michigan’s crumbling transportation infrastructure system. 

Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO said, “We are disappointed that it didn’t pass.  Now the problem has become harder because the cost of fixing our roads goes up the longer we delay.  We believe the Governor and legislature should immediately begin the work to find a permanent, long-term solution to increase road repair funding without raiding the General Fund and hurting other critical priorities like job training and college affordability.  These steps might include increasing vehicle registration fees, increasing the gas tax, issuing a bond or other actions within the control of the legislature.  Losing another road repair season just puts us farther behind.”

Download the statement. 


On May 5, Let's Fix the Roads!

On May 5: Let's Fix the Roads!

Tomorrow is Election Day, and we all have an opportunity to start fixing Michigan's crumbling road system.

Just two weeks ago, a national transportation research group released its report on our roads. No surprise, it detailed the rapidly deteriorating condition of Michigan's roads and the need for significantly more funding in order to repair them.

According to the report, 38% of Michigan's major roads are in poor condition (up from 23% in 2006), 45% are in fair condition, and only 17% are in good condition. Is that what we want for our families and businesses?

Proposal 1 would raise $1.2 billion a year for Michigan's roads by making sure that what we pay at the pump goes to our transportation needs. We'll finally see our crumbling pavement restored and bridges repaired. If Proposal 1 fails, we'll continue to shortchange our state transportation system by relying on unsustainable one-time fixes and risking our safety and future economic competitiveness.

Consider this: Not only do Michigan drivers pay on average $539 each year to fix their rims, tires and struts, but we also pay every time a prospective new job provider decides against locating here because of our poor roads. If Michigan is going to remain prosperous, we have to make it easier for businesses to get their products and services to market.

We need to get serious about making some guarantees to the people of our state. With Proposal 1:

  • Every penny paid at the pump in state gas taxes is constitutionally guaranteed to fund transportation.
  • Road builders would have to provide warranties on the roads they build so taxpayers are not forced to pay for improper repairs.
  • Every penny in the School Aid Fund is constitutionally guaranteed for K¬-12 schools and community colleges.

Recent news about Proposal 1:

MLive: Vote Yes on Proposal 1 for Better Michigan Roads, Schools and Cities

Detroit Free Press: For Safety's Sake, Vote Yes on Proposal 1

Detroit News: Vote Yes on Prop 1

Lansing State Journal: Passing Proposal 1 is Best for Michigan


BLM supports Proposal 1:  Proposal 1 is right for our state. The state can't simply siphon current funding from education, health care, public safety, local communities and other critical services to pay for roads. It's time to invest properly in our roads and bridges, keep our state competitive and make safety a priority.
Learn more about the facts of Proposal 1 from the Safe Roads Yes! Coalition. The election is on Tuesday and polls are open from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.



BUSINESS LEADERS ECONOMIC REPORT: In Short-and Long-Term, Job Leaders Continue to be More Optimistic about MI Economy than U.S. Economy

DETROIT, Mich., April 21, 2015 – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, projects that the Michigan economy will continue to grow and outperform the U.S. economy in the next 6 to 18 months. 

“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, BLM President and CEO.  “Job providers continue to be bullish on the state and are backing it up with increased hiring and investment.  Nearly half of Business Leaders for Michigan companies are forecasting increased investment in Michigan over the next six months.”  

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Leveraging MI’s Most Valuable Assets

BLM New Michigan Summit leaders: “Opportunities are only meaningful if we act on them”

LANSING, Mich., March 26, 2015 — Nearly 500 Michigan business and policy leaders convened in  Lansing today to explore the state’s most promising economic growth opportunities.

Hosted by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the third annual Building a New Michigan Leadership Summit offered projections, data, and strategies for accelerating Michigan’s economy. 

“Michigan has natural assets and strengths capable of driving long-term job, income and GDP growth,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO. “But these opportunities are only meaningful if we act on them in smart, aggressive ways. We’re in a fast-paced global race for economic leadership. We must maximize every opportunity we have if we’re going to win.”

Rothwell highlighted his organization’s latest report on each of six key opportunity areas identified in the Michigan Turnaround Plan’s New Michigan strategy as having the best potential to create good paying jobs in the state.  “Michigan can be a global leader, but we have to aggressively build upon our strengths,” Rothwell said.  “As a Top Ten competitor, our state stands to gain 230,000 more jobs, $14,000 more in average annual earnings, and $36,500 more in per capita GDP. We can’t afford not to get serious about each of these opportunities.”

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