October 2015
Just Ahead: The 2015 Michigan CEO Summit

If you're not already registered for this year's Michigan CEO Summit at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit, you'll want to sign up soon! Our agenda is action-packed with speakers and topics that will not only help our state continue its turnaround, but also support new ideas for innovation and collaboration in your own daily work.

Don't miss Tom Kelley, General Manager of IDEO and one of the world's most respected experts on harnessing innovation and design, as he delivers this year's keynote following a half-day of fast-paced panel discussions and networking.  This year's sessions include discussions about keeping Michigan on the leading edge of global competition and innovation. You'll also learn how successful entrepreneurs maintain their edge, how to effectively launch new start-ups, and how to keep your business competitive in the long term.
There's a lot to explore, click here to learn more and register!

Download the full agenda at www.businessleadersformichigan.com/events.


BLM Takes Michigan Ambassador Program to Silicon Valley

Business Leaders for Michigan's Michigan Ambassador Program received a warm reception in San Francisco. Governor Snyder and BLM members met with Bay area executives who have Michigan ties, sharing news of MI's comeback and growth  opportunities that exist in the state's emerging mobility industry. Read more. . .

Recent articles:
New Renaissance Venture Capital Fund Investments Bring Nat'l Focus to MI's Technology and Healthcare Sectors

Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, the venture capital fund-of-funds created through a partnership with Business Leaders for Michigan, announced that it has made a series of five new investments in top tier venture capital funds that will bring additional national focus to MI's emerging technology and healthcare startup scene. These new investments, totaling over $20 million, were made in firms that not only demonstrated past track records of financial success, but also expressed a desire to actively look for new opportunities in MI, help emerging MI companies to grow and increase MI employment.  Read more. . .


The Michigan Turnaround Plan reflects the significant progress that has been made in making Michigan more competitive.  It identifies areas where we can compete, invest and grow in order to make our state stronger for generations to come.


GROW: New Michigan

Our view:  
BLM supports leveraging MI's distinctive assets to grow good paying jobs and accelerate MI's economic growth in areas where our state demonstrates unparalleled strengths or expertise such as agriculture and automotive sectors.  To that end, MI should market MI's expertise in the growing mobility industry sector to position our state as the Global Center for Mobility, and support actions that grow MI's ability to export agricultural products around the globe.  

Report: SE MI should focus on mobility in new economy
Detroit Free Press | September 23 , 2015

For Detroit and southeast Michigan, becoming a leader in, or even capturing a piece of, the "new mobility" economy has a lot to do with how the area embraces regional transportation, according to the lead author of a new report on the burgeoning mobility industry.  
Michigan is auto, and MICHauto aims to keep it that way
MLive.com | September 30, 2015

Michigan is home to a quarter of all U.S. automotive assembly plants. The state has the highest concentration of engineering and architecture talent in the country. Last year, the number of vehicles produced in MI hit 2.34 million units, easily eclipsing the next state's total output of about 800,000 cars and trucks. More than 70 percent of North America's automotive R&D is originated in the state, and 60 percent of all the largest auto suppliers are based here.  In short, Michigan is auto. 
Michigan's ag exports to China skyrocket
CityPulse | September 29, 2015

In the past five years, more and more of Michigan's dairy products and prepared fruits and vegetables have been on their way to China, according to export data from Euromonitor International Ltd. From 2010 to 2014, the dollar value of dairy product exports to China skyrocketed 688 percent, according to the London-based economic analysis firm. In that same time period, the dollar value of prepared fruit and vegetable exports, which include dried tart cherries, rose almost four-fold.  Read more. . .


MI Unemployment Rate Drops to 5%, below U.S. average 

Michigan's economic recovery reached a new high after the unemployment rate in September.  The state's seasonally adjusted, monthly unemployment level, 5%, is slightly below the national average of 5.1%. It's the first time that has happened since August 2000, when both the state and national unemployment rates were below 5%. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget says that total employment in September rose by 3,000 over the month.Read more. . .
Michigan Local Finances Improve
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The University of Michigan reports that two-thirds of MI local governments report a low fiscal stress level on their finances - a slight improvement over last year.  The chart below shows the relative annual improvement or decline of local finances by county from 2009 through 2015.  While most of the state reports positive fiscal growth, Northern and parts of Southwest Michigan continue to experience declines.  Read more. . .

Michigan Gets 14th Best Business Climate Ranking
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Area Development ranked Michigan as the 14th best state to do business in their 2015 rankings with highest marks for water availability (#1) and skilled labor availability (#3).  The improved ranking shows how Michigan has improved its standing among site consultants - the source for these rankings. Read more. . . 
Michigan Gets High Ranking for Pre-School Access and Resources

The National Institute for Early Education Research ranked Michigan as having the 21st highest level of access for four-year old education and 12th for early childhood education funding.   Read more. . .
Effective Michigan Tax Rates by Business Type
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The Tax Foundation issued a report ranking state business tax climates by industry type.  The analysis shows that Michigan's property taxes are the one tax creating the biggest disincentive to locating here, particularly for R&D, retail and distribution firms.   The Corporate Income Tax is a slight disincentive attracting corporate headquarters with an average tax rate and no investment tax credits.  Read more. . .
Michigan's job creation rate outpaces U.S. average
Crain's Detroit Business | October 11, 2015

Michigan's jobs picture has reversed dramatically in the expansion that began six years ago, with the Great Lakes State outpacing the national average. One subplot is that MI is succeeding at creating professional, scientific and technical jobs - a long-standing policy goal - even as manufacturing declines as a percentage of state total nonfarm employment.  Read more. . .


Pasky, Strategic Staffing bet early on Detroit
Detroit News | October 1, 2015
Twenty-five years ago today, the nation was slipping toward turmoil in the Middle East, Coleman Young was mayor and an entrepreneur launched her dream.  Strategic Staffing Solutions Inc., based in Detroit, is now a global IT staffing company with 3,000 employees and offices in the States and across Europe. Its pioneering CEO, Cynthia Pasky, never seems to stop moving - emphasis on the pioneering part.  Read more. . . 
Domino's CEO Patrick Doyle: Tech with a side of pizza
MarketPlace.com | September 24, 2015
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If you were asked what the top three e-commerce sites are in the world, what would you guess? Amazon? Check. Apple? Yup. But there's a good chance your third guess is wrong, at least according to Domino's CEO J. Patrick Doyle. Read more. . . 
GM to donate $100,000 to Detroit entrepreneur 
Crain's Detroit Business | October 1, 2015

The Empowerment Plan's CEO and founder Veronika Scott will be the recipient of $100,000 grant from the General Motors Foundation. Scott and GM are featured extensively in singer-songwriter Michael Bolton's documentary "Gotta Keep Dreamin," on which he and his production company have been working for three years.  Scott's Detroit-based nonprofit hires women in shelters to make coats that convert into sleeping bags for the homeless. Read more. . . 
J.P. Morgan Chase teams to help Detroit nonprofits launch new programs
Crain's Detroit Business | October 8, 2015
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The third cohort of J.P. Morgan Chase's Detroit Service Corps, made up of 12 managers from all of the bank's lines of business, will start helping four area nonprofits with a variety of projects Monday. Three Chase managers will be assigned to each nonprofit for three weeks. They include employees from Australia, India and England. The Chase teams will help: Eastern Market, EcoWorks, Greening of Detroit and TechTown. Chase has committed to sending two teams per year to Detroit through 2018.  Read more. . . 
GMDTE Energy and Others Coming Together to Promote Clean Fuel
WDET  | October 1, 2015

Close to 30 Michigan companies are coming together to grow the state's clean fuel industry. DTE Energy, General Motors, Consumers Energy and other businesses have agreed to advocate for increased jobs, investment and technology development in the industry. A coalition spokesperson says MI ranks 41st in the country for number of clean fuel vehicles on the road. Read more. . . 


West Michigan designers promote state as hub for innovation and design 
MiBiz | September 27, 2015

Companies who get their products produced in Michigan only use a portion of the state's highly skilled advanced manufacturing resources. That's the message from design professionals across the state who say companies that have their products designed elsewhere before moving production to Michigan have missed out on the state's abundant research and design capabilities. Read more. . . 
Amazon, Lear moves help boost Detroit as a tech hub
Detroit Free Press | September 28, 2015

Hopes of turning downtown Detroit into a major technology hub took a couple of big steps forward Monday as digital giant Amazon and Lear announced major moves and investments, including the first sale of a building owned and renovated by Dan Gilbert's real estate arm. Read more. . .
Detroit Hustles Harder: The All-American Comeback City
Huffington Post | September 28, 2015
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There is a city in the middle of America that is fast becoming a hipster haven full of artists, young entrepreneurs, and a rapidly rising restaurant scene - and we are not talking about the Windy City. Detroit is on the comeback trail, and travelers around the world will be taking notice. Read more. . . 
Daimler North America moving headquarters to Michigan
Detroit News | September 16, 2015

Eight years after its parent company unceremoniously dumped Chrysler Group, Daimler North America Corp. said Wednesday it will move its headquarters to Michigan from New Jersey.  The move will bring 30 new or relocated jobs to MI, augmenting a presence that includes the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services headquarters in Farmington Hills, Detroit Diesel in Redford Township, and Mercedes-Benz Research and Development in Redford and Ann Arbor.  Read more. . . 
Michigan Capitol Confidential | September 9, 2015

Since the end of the Great Recession, nearly every sector of Michigan's economy has seen significant growth, with a total of 360,500 more private sector jobs in 2014 than in 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. MI went from having 3.87 million jobs in 2009 to 4.18 million jobs in 2014. In 2005 the state was on a transition from a gradual economic decline into what became a very steep one. Since 2010, both employment and the MI economy have been on an upswing. Read more. . .

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About Us


Business Leaders for Michigan, the state's business roundtable, is dedicated to making Michigan a "Top Ten" state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. The organization is composed exclusively of the chairpersons, chief executive officers, or most senior executives of Michigan's largest companies and universities.  Our members drive 32% of the state's economy, provide nearly 375,000 direct in Michigan, generate over $1 Trillion in annual revenue and serve nearly one half of all Michigan public university students. Find out more at:www.businessleadersformichigan.com