Just how far has the state of Michigan come regarding its business climate in recent years?
According to Onaway entrepreneur Tom Moran in a recent magazine article, the answer is very far indeed.
Moran is one of several business leaders interviewed for the July issue of Site Selection magazine. According to a news release from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the article "details Gov. Rick Snyder's reinvention of Michigan."
"This rebound has really started to take hold," Moran says in the article. "Michigan has become friendlier to all kinds of businesses, not just manufacturing. I have never seen a situation where both business and government were parallel in working hand in hand as a team."
Moran's business - Moran Iron Works - has been in the newspaper a lot lately. The large metal manufacturing company is investing $16.2 million and adding 75 new jobs at facilities in Onaway and Rogers City. Just last month the region celebrated with Moran and others the completion of the Port Calcite Collaborative.
The four-page Site Selection article was prepared by MEDC staff, which obviously makes the reporting very interesting, but not objective. There is nothing wrong with that as long as readers understand the source of the information also is the author of the information. The magazine provides expansion planning information to 44,000 executives in 117 countries.
Regardless, the truth of the matter is the business climate across Michigan is changing. I talk regularly with newspaper publishers and editors in both the Upper Peninsula and downstate, and all have seen a more favorable difference in the business climate in the past two years.
Recently I had lunch with State Sen. John Moolenaar and State Rep. Peter Pettalia and the conversation quickly focused on the state's changing economy. We discussed a report released in June by the National Association of Manufacturers that showed from 2009 to March of this year, Michigan led the country in the number of new manufacturing jobs created. Michigan had 88,100 new jobs while the next closest - Texas, had 57,500.
And then there are these findings:
Michigan ranks number one for states that recovered most from the Great Recession (Wall Street Journal)
Michigan ranks eighth most competitive state for spurring business growth (Site Selection Magazine)
Michigan ranks fourth in the nation for new corporate expansions or building projects in 2012 (Site Selection Magazine)
Michigan's corporate tax ranking is the third most business-friendly among the nation's 12 largest states (Tax Foundation)
Michigan's credit rating has been upgraded to AA, the first time Michigan has rated above AA- since January 2007 (Fitch Ratings)
Michigan ranks third in the nation for high-tech job growth (Engine Advocacy)
Michigan's economy was the sixth fastest growing in the nation in 2011 (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)
Michigan is on the rebound. Certainly that is good news for all of us.