Category Archives: Economy

“Prevailing wage” to be an issue before new Legislature

money-coinsIt’s looking like “prevailing wage” will be an issue in the Legislature’s new session. It deals with pay rates for construction workers on publicly funded projects. It’s an issue that divides Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature’s Republican leaders.
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Businesses create coalition against Line 5; congress introduces legislation to shut down pipeline

Mackinac Bridge

Nearly a dozen businesses from around the state, and country, formed a coalition this month opposing Enbridge’s line 5 under the straits of Mackinac.

Bell’s Brewery, Shepler’s Ferry, and national outdoor retailer Patagonia are among the businesses in the new Great Lakes Business Network. Continue reading

Budget experts and economists crunch numbers at the State Capitol

money-coinsBudget and economic experts predict a bright fiscal future in Michigan. The Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference met today (Thurs) at the State Capitol.

2018 is looking good. From a financial standpoint that is.

Economists predict more economic growth in the United States and in Michigan, but the growth will be slow.

Gabriel Ehrlich is the Director of the Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics at the University of Michigan. He says we can expect to see a slowdown in job growth in Michigan, but part of that is because the labor force is getting toward full employment.

“We don’t believe it’s at full employment but there are fewer unemployed workers on the sidelines just waiting for jobs. So we see job growth slowing down.”

2018 will also see about 330 (m) million dollars in so-called “one-time” funds, but it is not expected to be a recurring event.

Downtown development program extends to Cheboygan

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The city of Cheboygan has been selected for a downtown development program.

The Main Street Program helps communities build and revitalize their downtown area.

Traverse City, Saginaw and Alpena are among the 72 communities that are already part of the program as well.

Laura Krizov is with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. She is the manager of the Main Street program.

“It’ll be looking at the types of businesses that fit downtown, it could be bringing volunteers in for programming for promotions and things they are doing, it could be looking at their design elements downtown “

Krisov said the program has been running since 2003.

“I think the biggest thing is, is the leadership locally all getting together, and banding around the focus of their downtown. And they have the understanding that in order to have a strong community, you have to have a strong downtown.”

The following is a link to a list of all communities involved, http://www.michiganbusiness.org/community/development-assistance/#developers.

Michigan remains top three in the nation for boat sales

BuckeyeLake_02According to data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association, boat sales in Michigan totaled over eight hundred and $40 million in 2016.

The state came in third to Florida and Texas in boat sales. Their sales were in the billions of dollars.

Officials say boat sales picked up around 2009, and since then, the market has continued to grow..

Bill Kerns is the General Manager at Spicer’s Boat City in Houghton Lake. He says there are a number of reasons the market is doing well.

“New people getting into the sport, dealers being more ready for the onslaught of business, more product out in the field, and pontoons have continued to grow the industry and we saw growth at the end of last year with those as well.”

Kerns says with technology continuing to make boating more appealing, the market in Michigan will likely stay strong.

The state has approved a settlement agreement for a Michigan- based gas and electric utility in the Upper Peninsula

Electric LinesThe U.P. was previously served by two Wisconsin based companies. State officials say the new agreement will replace those entities with the Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corporation.
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Snyder says Michigan needs to invest billions in infrastructure

moneyA panel of business and government experts appointed by Governor Rick Snyder says Michigan needs to invest billions more in infrastructure spending.

The 21st century infrastructure commission says Michigan should raise infrastructure spending by four billion dollars each year.

That’s to fix its aging water, transportation, energy and communications systems.

It says Michigan spends less on infrastructure than the national state-average.

Evan Weiner is the C.O.O of Edward C. Levy Company. HE chaired the DEL commission.

“The point is, is that it’s going to take us a long time to get it done. But if we don’t decide to start today, it’s going to be a heck of a lot more expensive tomorrow.”

He says instead of pinning down a specific funding strategy, the report outlines a “menu” of potential funding options.