CNBC recently announced the results of its 12th annual America’s Top States for Business ranking for 2018 and Michigan is among the top 10 states for technology and innovation, cost of living, workforce, and preferred location overall for business.
Citing the state’s “fierce devotion to technology and innovation,” CNBC ranked Michigan third in that category, up from ninth place in 2017. Michigan also broke into the top 10 states for workforce, moving up three spots from last year.
Furthermore, Michigan is listed at 11 as a top pro-business state, a ranking that underscores the state’s dramatic economic growth and ongoing efforts to create a business-friendly environment. This is great news for Michigan and those of us who live, work and raise a family in the state.
One of the ways that Flint and Genesee County has paved the way for businesses is by providing an infrastructure for growth: a strong logistics network with great access to interstate highways; broadband connectivity; rail service; and Bishop International Airport. Add to that, a skilled workforce, access to incentives, low cost of living, and a business ecosystem that encourages investment and quality of life amenities that makes the region appealing.
Recent examples of business growth includes GM breaking ground on a new $65 million ACDelco and Genuine GM Parts processing center in Burton. Magna Electronics is investing $50 million to expand its operations into a 229,500 square-foot facility in Grand Blanc on Holly Road. Also, under development along Holly Road is the new Fairfield Inn & Suites and there’s a new Hyatt Place hotel in Mundy Township. In addition to the new builds, several existing hotels have recently upgraded or are planning major overhauls to meet market demand.
The revitalization of downtown Flint continues with $75 million to $100 million in projects recently completed and underway. We’re making progress on a new hotel. Construction on the Mott Community College Culinary Institute is going great and on track. We expect the school to open in late fall. And, we’re moving forward to build a mixed-income housing complex. Just recently 39 businesses, entrepreneurs and students moved into co-work spaces in the Flint Ferris Wheel Innovation Center, a business incubator. That’s on top of new restaurants and over 15 new retail shops such as GoodBoy Clothing, Shift Boutique, Flint Trading Company and Eight Ten Nail Salon that have opened in the past two years. If you haven’t been downtown in a while, I recommend that you do so, soon. You’ll be very pleasantly surprised.
These are just a few examples of businesses helping to transform the Flint & Genesee economy and move the region forward. And the people driving the businesses are helping to build community. They’re doing this by being engaged in issues that are important to the community, creating jobs, sometimes providing environmental benefits and they’re increasing the tax base.
Being a business-friendly state and county is beneficial to us all.
Tim Herman is the CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce