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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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Entries in Economy (15)

Friday
Jan152016

New Year, New Goals, New Michigan

Michigan's turnaround to date has been the result of a lot of hard work by businesses and people across our state. It's also been facilitated by state tax, fiscal and regulatory changes that created a better business climate.  But there's a stark difference between turning the state around and being a Top Ten state - especially when being Top Ten could mean up to 120,000 more jobs and higher incomes for every Michigander.

That's why we can't let our recent success allow us to become complacent.  We need better tools to attract business.  More educated and skilled workers.  A laser-like focus to ensure MI maintains its signature automotive industry as it becomes increasingly based on technologies developed across the globe.  

If we want to attract more jobs and businesses, MI needs better tools to compete.  We have a good business climate, but so do most of the states we compete against and they offer more incentives to locate there.  That needs to change.

It will take the state getting more serious about making the investments needed to make a college and university education in our state affordable.

Finally, it will take a recognition that while recent tax and fiscal reforms stabilized our finances, we still have more than 1,800 units of government, too little service sharing across these entities and too much debt that could sidetrack our future growth. In fact, we still routinely pass legislation without knowing its potential future costs. 

As we enter a new year, we should be proud of our recent progress.  But looking forward, we should be mindful that our work is far from over.   Let's work together to build a New Michigan.

 

Monday
May112015

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

Wednesday
Jan072015

2015: Charting a path to a vibrant, prosperous future

Our state has come a long way over the last few years. State government finances are more stable. Changes to our tax system have reduced the burden for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Long-term debt has been reduced. Unnecessary regulations have been eliminated. 

We've made great gains. Our state is performing better but what was necessary then is not what is needed now - if we are to make MI a Top Ten  state with more jobs and higher incomes. 

Now that we've regained our economic footing, it's time to think about how we can strategically invest for our future growth.  

Michigan leaders know two crucial areas of investment are needed--people and infrastructure. We need to make sure our people have the tools they need to succeed, and that our roads and bridges are safe for everyday travel and have the capacity to move our products and services to market.

We begin-first, last, and always-with the people of our great state.  There needs to be more investment in educational programs Michiganders need to be successful.  Our young people need more than a high school education to succeed.  Yet, our state spends more to house prison inmates than it does to help a kid get through college. We can do better.  And additional job training opportunities would help many talented, displaced workers re-enter the workforce and fill the 70,000+ open jobs that exist today.

For Michigan to continue to grow, we need to develop a skilled, educated workforce that is capable of meeting the demands of employers today, tomorrow, and even a decade from now.  At the same time, we need to fundamentally retool our state's transportation infrastructure.  Michigan's roads and bridges need to function as more than a humorous punchline; they need to be capable of supporting our growing economy. 

State policymakers have shown tremendous foresight in adopting a comprehensive road funding solution. Voters will have an opportunity to approve this solution this spring, connecting Michigan to the resources and tools necessary to be an economic powerhouse once more.

Please join us, our colleagues, neighbors and communities as we rally around these strategies for growth in 2015.  Michigan's future prosperity depends on it. 

Wednesday
Apr232014

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 businessleadersformichigan.com/research-and-reports.

Friday
Mar072014

Accelerating Job Growth via Investments in Higher Ed

How do we keep our recent job growth success going?  One way is by giving more kids a chance to earn technical or college degrees.  All the data says we'll need more workers with an education beyond high school in the years ahead and that they will make and work more over their careers than those with just a high school degree.

But in Michigan, we've made it harder for kids to get the education they need.  We went from being a Top Ten to a Bottom Ten state for college affordability over the past decade due to a dramatic decline in state support.  The result was a cost shift to students and parents at a time when they could least afford it. 

The state began modestly reinvesting in college education the past two years.  This year, Governor Snyder proposed a 6% increase that would keep tuition at or below the rate of inflation.  BLM strongly supports the Governor's proposal and urges you to call your legislator and ask them to do the same.  Nothing could better help us fill the jobs of the future.

 Richardville Support for Higher Ed 03.18.14