Michigan soars 19 spots in Chief Executive magazine's annual Best & Worst States for Business

Monday, June 8, 2020

• Best single-year improvement in the history of the ranking • Factors including workforce, growth in manufacturing and overall business conditions drive results • MEDC creating a runway for economic recovery by growing businesses and resilient communities

LANSING, Mich. - Coming off a year of record-breaking investments in Michigan, including Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s (FCA) historic $4.5 billion investment in Detroit and nearby Macomb County, Chief Executive magazine has ranked Michigan the 13th best state in the country for business – up 19 spots from last year in the biggest single-year move in the ranking’s history.

According to Chief Executive, CEOs who weighed in on the survey cited a number of factors that helped drive Michigan’s jump, including workforce, regulatory environment and overall favorable business conditions, and growth in the manufacturing sector.

“What has always set Michigan’s workforce apart is our sense of resiliency, ingenuity and pride our people bring to their place of business,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Even in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic, we have remained focused on supporting the economic needs of small businesses, entrepreneurs, communities and workers throughout the state, while continuing to work with Michigan businesses and pursuing competitive business growth deals – laying the foundation for sustainable, long-term success.”

Chief Executive points to Michigan’s access to industrial and technical talent as a key ingredient to the state’s success. In ‘How Michigan Keeps Advancing,’ the magazine goes on to highlight the state’s engineering and manufacturing advantages, economic diversification, and the PlanetM Landing Zone.

“The number one factor we hear from companies of all types is about Michigan’s talent and access to that talent,” Josh Hundt, Executive Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer at the MEDC, told Chief Executive. “We have the advantage of the highest concentration of engineers in the nation and a top-10 skilled-trades workforce, and we are leveraging those strengths for the jobs of the future.”

The Best & Worst States for Business survey captures the perceptions of CEOs on a range of important issues. The rankings are crucial, as CEO perception drives investments in offices, factories and other facilities that bring jobs to a region.

The Chief Executive ranking builds on additional accolades already announced in 2020, including:

  • Business Facilities 2019 Deal of the Year going to FCA for investing $4.5 billion and creating 6,433 good-paying jobs at a new state-of-the-art assembly plant in Detroit and five existing Michigan facilities, which will enjoy expanded production as well as the ability to build fully battery electric models in the future.
  • Michigan ranked No. 4 in the prestigious 2020 Prosperity Cup by Site Selection magazine, jumping up from its No. 10 ranking last year. The publication recognized the success of the state’s business recruitment and retention efforts in the past year. The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation/Detroit Regional Partnership also ranked among the top local and regional economic development groups in the magazine’s Mac Conway Awards for Excellence in Economic Development.
  • A number of national travel and tourism accolades, including Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2020, highlighting both the leisure travel opportunities but also overall quality of life available throughout the state.

“In the past few months, we have remained focused on enabling economic prosperity for all Michiganders while helping support growth opportunities to secure the long-term economic health of our state,” said MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton. “We have responded to the crisis at hand while helping create a runway for economic recovery by growing businesses and resilient, diverse and vibrant communities long after this crisis has concluded.”

In addition to its business attraction, entrepreneurial support, community development efforts and promotion of leisure travel through Pure Michigan, the MEDC launched two new business marketing campaigns to implement the full range of marketing and communications activities to attract, retain and grow businesses in Michigan.

MEDC’s “Pure Opportunity” business attraction campaign focuses on impactful peer-to-peer testimonials, featuring CEOs and leaders from across Michigan who convey the value and competitive advantage of doing business in our state. The in-state services campaign, promoting “Pure Partnership,” demonstrates MEDC’s commitment to providing services that drive growth and retention for existing businesses. Additionally, the award-winning Pure Michigan campaign

To learn more about MEDC’s COVID-19 response programs and the impact they are having on economic recovery efforts, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19response. Other resources for economic reopening efforts as well as businesses across Michigan struggling with economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.