BLM Report Shows Improvements Needed for Michigan to Rank among Top 10 States

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If Michigan were performing like a top 10 state today, there would be:

  • 34,000 more Michigan people working
  • $9,500 more income per person
  • $11,700 more GDP per person

That’s the latest assessment from Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) in its fact-based report on Michigan’s economic competitiveness relative to other states. The 2017 version of this study contains important findings for the meetings and events industry and small business owners.

“If we want to attract new good paying jobs, we need to recognize what companies look for when considering new locations,” says Doug Rothwell, BLM president and CEO.

He says those factors include:

  • How much talent is available in an area?
  • How business-friendly is the regulatory and tax environment?
  • Is the infrastructure (roads, bridges, water pipelines, broadband access, etc.) up-to-date, safe, and ready to handle the needs of the new business?

The report shows Michigan is lacking in many categories:

  • Michigan’s urban road quality ranked 38th among all states, worse than the "Top 10" and peer state averages.
  • Michigan ranks 37th for bridges in poor condition.
  • Michigan ranks 36th in terms of the number of households with access to quality internet service, below the averages of both "Top 10" and peer states.

“These rankings are alarming for numerous reasons. Not only do we rely on our infrastructure to ensure the personal well being of our families and colleagues, from an economic standpoint, we rely on it to move our goods and services to market and to attract other job providers to our state. Yet, we spend a fraction of what we needed to ensure they are in good working order,” adds Rothwell.

“Our view is that Michigan would benefit from forming an infrastructure planning council to prioritize needs and achieve greater coordination between regions, increasing user fees to build and maintain our deteriorating roads, bridges, and drinking water systems, and expanding broadband service in underserved areas,” he concludes.

The BLM’s key findings from the benchmarking report are available here.

Metro Public Works recently announced the start of a new glass recycling initiative to being in Lower Broadway in Nashville, TN.

Mayor Megan Barry said it was the city’s first glass bottle recycling initiative. “Lower Broadway has become an international tourist destination, and long-neck bottles are now synonymous with the honky-tonk experience,” Barry said. “For too long, we’ve had to throw away glass that could have been recycled and repurposed. This program is like no other, and we are excited to lead the charge toward a more sustainable city.”

 

Naming rights for event venues is big business, even for smaller facilities as the new sign on the former Birch Run Expo Center reveals.

Effective Dec. 22, 2017, the Frankenmuth Credit Union partnered with the Grand Rapids-based GVB Development Group to rename the Birch Run Expo Center located along I-75 near the Premium Outlets mall.

 

Steelcase launched a 10-year sponsorship at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport this fall to design new two business centers and two work-life lounges in each concourse for travelers. 

The four new spaces are part of a multi-year, two-phase $45-million Gateway Transformation project at the Grand Rapids airport.