Restart, Restructure, Reignite proposal makes policy recommendations positioning Michigan for a swift, sustainable economic turnaround
LANSING, Mich. – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) today released a plan for restarting Michigan’s economy that will benefit both workers and employers. The executive leadership roundtable outlines three categories with guiding principles, along with policy suggestions that can be simultaneously implemented. Unlike proposals that rely on large amounts of unidentified government funding, BLM suggests repurposing existing state and federal revenue, allowing elected leaders to take quick action to assist employers in resuming operations and re-engaging displaced workers as the economy fully and safely reopens.
“BLM’s first and foremost response to the COVID-19 crisis has been around public health,” said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO of BLM. “The shutdown of operations across industries is unprecedented. There was no playbook for this situation, so we worked to create one that could guide businesses of all sizes in keeping employees, suppliers and customers safe. Now, we’re focused on a new playbook: a plan that stabilizes our state’s economy by helping state government and employers get people back to work safely and using our shared resources most effectively.”
BLM’s economic recovery plan is outlined as follows:
Restart Principles: Reengage the Michigan economy safely and responsibly, stabilizing the business climate and limiting the chances of another shutdown or prolonged economic downturn by relying on public health and safety to guide policies.
- Support implementation of a statewide testing system;
- Continue collaborations with national and local financial institutions to identify, fund programs to provide short-term loans and gap financing to Michigan-based businesses;
- Support continuation and modification of the Unemployment Insurance Agency’s Work Share program to retain employment.
Restructure Principles: Adapt to new conditions, advocating for state government to leverage federal stimulus funds and state revenues to tax residents and businesses appropriately for new working conditions, and redeploy displaced workers, with intense reskilling to follow for those whose jobs have been eliminated.
- Request that the Michigan Department of Transportation and county road commissions 1) prioritize projects considering economic impact; 2) streamline the approval process; and 3) place the greatest emphasis on “shovel ready” projects.
- Review tax structure for alignment with accelerated trends toward remote work and household delivery of goods and services.
- Assign the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to identify and implement accelerated certification programs for in-demand positions, leveraging best, “off the shelf” programs of community colleges, employers, labor associations, etc.; to advertise and make certificate programs available rapidly and at-scale.
Reignite Principles: Facilitate economic activity and conditions for growth, shifting economic development priorities during the recovery to focus on retaining and growing Michigan’s existing companies and attracting growth from their supply chains.
- Support small and medium-sized businesses in out-state communities by redirecting Community Development Block Grant dollars from investments in infrastructure, and use Business Development Program dollars to support small and medium sized businesses in urban communities;
- Focus on helping existing Michigan companies attract their critical suppliers in anticipation of a realignment of global supply chains;
- Fund Pure Michigan to support restarting our tourism industry.
For more information on COVID-19 and recommended health practices, visit www.BLMCOVID19.com.
About Business Leaders for Michigan:
Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, is dedicated to making Michigan a Top Ten state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. The organization is composed exclusively of the executive leaders of Michigan’s largest companies and universities. Our members drive nearly 40 percent of the state’s economy, generate over $1 trillion in annual revenue and educate nearly half of all Michigan public university students. Find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.