THIS JUST IN: Michigan continues to rise in national rankings with Area Development’s 2020 Top States for Doing Business

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Improvement in Area Development’s “Top States for Doing Business” underscores impact of Michigan’s economic growth efforts in the midst of COVID-19 crisis

Michigan has moved up three places as a top state to do business in Area Development magazine’s 2020 Top States for Doing Business rankings, released this week. Michigan came in this year at no. 16 on the list overall, as well as a top 10 finish for MEDC’s site readiness efforts.

“Even in an economic crisis, we are working to grow our economy and regain the momentum we had coming out of 2019,” said Mark A. Burton, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “This improved ranking demonstrates Michigan’s continued focus on restoring economic prosperity for all Michiganders and as a top state to grow and do business.”

Area Development surveyed leading consultants, asking them to provide their top state picks in 13 categories that impact companies’ location and facility plans, including overall cost of doing business, incentive programs, access to capital, workforce training and site readiness programs. The states were ranked based on their number of mentions in each particular category, and total mentions in all 13 categories were used to rank the overall top 20 states.

Michigan came in at no. 7 for its site readiness programs, a category that “can be a deal-maker or a deal-breaker,” according to Area Development. MEDC’s site readiness programs includes the Build Ready Sites program as well as a searchable database of available properties, featured sites, and listings of sites that are Consumers Energy Certified Energy Ready, redevelopment ready, build ready, located in certified business parks, and more.

“MEDC is committed to working with our local partners and communities to foster business growth and success by developing our inventory of shovel ready sites across the state,” Burton said.

Founded in 1965, Area Development magazine is considered the leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation. To learn more about Area Development’s announcement, visit here.

Today’s announcement from Area Development builds on additional recognition for Michigan’s business climate in recent months, including:

  • Capturing eight top 10 spots on Business Facilities’ 16th annual Rankings Report for 2020, including once again taking the #1 ranking for in the Automotive Manufacturing Strength category.
  • Jumping 19 spots in Chief Executive magazine’s “Best and Worse States to do Business” survey – the largest jump in the ranking’s history. Chief Executive pointed to Michigan’s access to industrial and technical talent as a key ingredient to the state’s success.
  • Area Development’s Silver Shovel Award for excellence in economic development and job creating projects in the 8-12 million population category on the strength of projects including FCA’s historic $4.5 billion investment in Detroit and nearby in Macomb County, Ford Motor Company’s expansion at two of its key facilities and establishment of a new vehicle modification center in southeast Michigan, Acrisure’s relocation and expansion of its headquarters to downtown Grand Rapids and KLA’s new research and development center in Ann Arbor.

Following the launch of 19 nationally recognized COVID-19 relief and recovery programs to support an estimated 10,000 businesses and help retain more than 15,400 jobs across all 83 counties, MEDC is implementing a strategic plan focused on long term economic recovery to ensure a resilient and equitable economy for all Michiganders. Today’s announcement is a critical step in restoring the momentum driving business growth, job creation, community vitality and the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the state at the start of the year. Combined with a Pure Michigan message, those efforts are positioning Michigan as national destination to live, work, and play and helping secure competitive business deals – including the recently announced expansions by Bridgewater Interiors and Magna International.

To see why companies are choosing Michigan, visit To learn more about the services available from the MEDC to help businesses grow, go to

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 For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.