On April 5, we sent a letter with the Detroit Regional Chamber, Grand Rapids Chamber, Small Business Association of Michigan, Michigan Manufacturers Association and Lansing Chamber outlining six principles to guide state and local leaders in making decisions on how to invest federal stimulus funding.
- Focus on Transformational Investments: The highest priority should be given to investments that help us achieve long-term goals and leapfrog other states and regions in education/skills, fostering business competitiveness and ultimately growing well-paying jobs for years to come.
- Maximize Michigan’s Share of Stimulus Dollars: Specific federal funding streams and programs address many of the economic, health, and educational gaps created by COVID-19. We should assist Michigan’s businesses, residents, and communities in applying and accessing these competitive funds.
- Protect Flexible Funding and Target Uncovered Gaps: Flexible funds should fill uncovered COVID health, educational and economic gaps only after other sources are exhausted. Gaps should be well defined using data, and funding should be targeted rather than scattershot.
- Prioritize Leverage and Avoid Unfunded Mandates: Investments that leverage private and public sector dollars to achieve larger goals and provide ongoing returns should be encouraged. Investments must be sustainable and avoid creating reoccurring tax burdens for our residents or businesses.
- Prevent Backsliding: Michigan has made progress over the last several years, improving its competitive position as it has recovered from the Great Recession. Access to these stimulus dollars should not work against the gains we have made.
- Measure Outcomes and Assure Transparency: There should be clear goals and metrics identified and measured, with programs designed to allow for adjustments.
Since then, we’ve heard from the following local chambers statewide signifying their support for our efforts and agreeing to share consensus around these principles with local officials: