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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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BLM Poll & Policy Principles Outline Path Forward on MI Road Funding

Statewide Survey Shows Voters Ready to Fund Road Fixes

DETROIT, Mich., May 26, 2015 — Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) today issued a set of principles and the results of a recent statewide public opinion poll that outline how Michigan’s roads and bridges should be fixed in light of the defeat of Proposal 1. 

The public opinion polling results show Michigan voters want the roads fixed—and they are willing to pay for the work— but policymakers need to shape a less complex proposal. More than half of survey respondents who voted no on Proposal 1 said they believed the initiative gave tax money away to too many other things.  The survey also revealed that nearly 80 percent of voters believe the state’s roads are worse than other states.

“Michigan voters know the roads are bad, and they are willing to fund the right solution for fixing them,” said BLM President & CEO Doug Rothwell.  “The message this survey sends to our state leaders is twofold—deal with this issue quickly, and don’t tie too many extra bells and whistles onto a funding package that should simply be about getting our roads and bridges in better shape.”

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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: MI and U.S. Economies Expected to Grow in Short and Long Term

The state’s largest employers add jobs and invest in Michigan in 2013

DETROIT, Mich., February 18, 2014 – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, expects the Michigan and U.S. economies to both grow in the next 6 and 18 months and expects Michigan’s economy to continue to grow faster than the U.S. economy.

“The state’s largest job providers continue to believe Michigan will out-perform the national economy over the next year and a half,” said Doug Rothwell, President & CEO.  “Optimism about the economy rose sharply in the last quarter due partly to the resolution of federal budget and debt ceiling negotiations and strong year-end financial reports from major Michigan employers.” 

Highlights of the survey of Business Leaders for Michigan include:

  • Sixty four percent of business leaders believe Michigan’s economy will grow and none believe it will get worse while only 51% forecast the U.S. economy will grow the next six months.  

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Business Leaders Forecast: MI Will Grow Faster Than U.S. in Long-Term 

Short-term growth slowing

DETROIT, Mich., October 15, 2013 – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, continues to forecast that Michigan’s economy will grow faster than the U.S. economy over the next eighteen months.  However, business leaders believe both America’s and Michigan’s growth over the next six months will be slower due to lower global demand and domestic financial uncertainty. 

“Michigan’s business leaders continue to believe that Michigan will out-perform the national economy over the next year and a half by a significant margin,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO. “Their more pessimistic short-term outlook reflects continued sluggishness in major export markets and a lack of federal action on interest rate, debt and tax policies.  The belief is that over the long-term global growth will return and some federal issues will get resolved.  Once those things happen, Michigan will benefit disproportionately because we’re a big export state.”

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Survey Finds “Great Optimism for Detroit”

City residents believe things will get better in 2014, overwhelmingly support Duggan

DETROIT, Mich., Sept. 26, 2003—A new survey of Detroit voters reveals city residents’ abiding belief in the city’s future, with more than 60 percent of respondents saying things will get better during the next year.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of media coverage devoted to Detroit in recent months, but we hope this is the story that sticks,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “The people of Detroit are resilient, optimistic, and ready for change.” 

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