Greetings! We hope you enjoy our December 2017 Newsletter!
A Letter from Our President & CEO
Dear Friends,

Since 1982, Monroe County BDC has been working to help create an environment for economic growth and prosperity for Monroe County and its businesses.

Our results, over the last 35 years underscore the soundness of our strategy, the strength of our partnerships and the huge opportunities that exist within Monroe County.

On behalf of BDC's Board of Directors, staff and myself, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support during 2017. With 2018 just around the corner, we look forward to continuing the work we have been doing to meet our vision and mission and welcome new initiatives that will continue to create an environment for growth and opportunities for Monroe County and its businesses.
Wishing you and your family a safe and joyous Christmas and holiday season!

Tim C. Lake
Update on Michigan's Progress from Business Leaders for Michigan
The key note speaker at BDC's 2017 fall event was Doug Rothwell of Business Leaders for Michigan. We received great reviews about his no nonsense approach of what Michigan needs to do to become a "Top Ten" state.

Business Leaders for Michigan recently released their annual Economic Competitiveness Benchmarking Report showing our state's progress. We have moved in overall business and tax climate from being in last place in 2009 to 25 th for 2017. Michigan has created more jobs and now ranks 6 th in job creation. Per capita income growth and paychecks for hard-working Michiganders also have outpaced the average of leading states the last two years but are still far less than the "Top Ten" states.
Being a "Top Ten" state means there would be 34,000+ more people working, $9,500 in additional income for every Michigander, and our production of goods and services would jump by nearly $12,000 more per person.

In viewing this report (click on above link), we need to recognize our recent progress but be eager to strive for a better performance. We need to strategically invest in things that matter ... education, talent, and infrastructure.

Also, click on the video above to see Doug Rothwell's presentation from the recent CEO Summit. This presentation resembles the theme of what Mr. Rothwell discussed at BDC's fall event.

Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) is the state’s business roundtable, composed of the chairpersons, CEOs or most senior executives of the state’s largest job providers and universities.  Together, their members power one-third of the state’s economy and educate nearly one-half of the state’s university students , making them a front-seat driver for economic development and change.
Consumers Energy's Commitment to Monroe County and the BDC
Consumers Energy was founded in 1886 by William Augustine Foote, a flour mill operator and entrepreneur who enjoyed tinkering with electricity. Foote's innovative vision transformed his company from a small downtown lighting project to one of the nation's largest utility companies.

The BDC has partnered with Consumers Energy almost since our inception. In 1992, Mr. Keith Spencer was nominated to the BDC's Board of DIrectors (then known as the IDC) and elected as Consumers Energy's first BDC Board Member. Since that time, Consumers Energy has continually had representation on our Board of Directors.

Currently, that person is Greg Meyer who is the Public Affairs Area Manager for Consumers Energy. Greg's expertise and experience add considerable value to the growth and development of Monroe County. We are thankful to have him and the support of Consumers Energy.

Please take a moment and click on the picture to find out some interesting facts about what Consumers Energy has accomplished in Monroe County these past few years.
And, there is more ...
> The Council of the Great Lakes Region was formed in 2011 when over 250 regional leaders from government, business, labor, non-profit, and academic communities within the Great Lakes and around the St. Lawrence River came together in Detroit and Windsor for the Great Lakes Summit.

The Summit sought better ways of working together across the border and throughout the region, and many policy areas were identified where stronger regional collaboration and voice were needed when it comes to building the region’s future economy, preserving a healthy ecosystem, and deepening cross-border and cross-sector collaboration and partnerships.

They recently published infographics entitled, "Examining the Cross-Border Supply Chain," which has some interesting information about our area and extremely important as it relates to the future growth of our region. Thanks to Jeff Desjardins of Visual Capitalist for this interesting information, which he describes in his article, " If the 'Great Lakes economy' were its own country, it would be the 3rd largest in the world ."

>>   Our office will be closed Monday & Tuesday, December 25 & 26 in observance of the holiday. We will reopen for business on Wednesday, December 27, at 9:00 am. Our office will also be closed on  Monday & Tuesday, January 1 & 2, 2018 , to observe the New Year. We will reopen for business on Wednesday, January 3, at 9:00 am. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all!
  Please feel free to contact us anytime!
Tim Lake  x101 |  LuAnn Hogberg x102