Covering the intersection of business and policy, and informing Michigan employers and workers on the long road back from coronavirus.
Some of the state’s top CEOs sent a letter Wednesday urging Republican lawmakers and the state’s Democratic governor to present a united front on coronavirus safety measures as Michigan braces for a second wave of the virus.
Founder Alita Kelly wants to create ‘an experience that goes beyond just buying groceries’ for a part of the city that has few healthy food outlets.
From drug development to medical devices, the state’s bioscience businesses found themselves in the bull’s-eye when coronavirus overtook the United States, said Stephen Rapundalo of MichBio.
Economic relief programs that helped the state’s businesses and jobless now are on hold as the United States pauses new stimulus talks and the state confronts upheaval that impacts state unemployment benefits.
Dozens of executive orders have regulated businesses over the last six months. After a chaotic few days of court rulings and political chess games in Lansing, it’s unclear which of them still apply.
The state qualifies for a 20-week benefits extension, but not all workers will receive it. Some also are still waiting for $300-a-week bonus payments due to another fraud investigation.
Twenty percent of small businesses “are projecting pretty catastrophic impacts” said Brian Calley, president of the Small Business Association of Michigan.
Advocates say more policy help is needed to get the state’s leisure and hospitality employees back to work – and keep hotels and restaurants open.
Sales for TentCraft in Traverse City reached into the millions as it shifted from tents for concerts and trade shows to building temporary medical units. The company now must gauge how to plan for the future.
'This is going to be the only recession in history where income goes up,' said University of Michigan economist Donald Grimes.
The state was approved for three more weeks of Lost Wages Assistance, and jobless workers should see that money by the end of September.
Affordability and accessibility are a problem in the state’s housing market. Officials and industry experts are watching to see how the coronavirus pandemic affects that.
Amid frustrations from some business owners about emergency orders, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she’s weighing case counts, vaccine development and other factors in determining how long the crisis will last.
New construction remains suppressed across the state, and low- to middle-income residents are bearing the brunt of the lack of affordable new homes. Bob Filka, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Michigan, hopes to lead policy changes to make more building possible at mid-range prices.
Prices are climbing and competition is fierce as traditionally slow areas of Michigan become real-estate hotspots. No longer geographically tied to their workplaces and enjoying low interest rates, buyers are sparking a ‘feeding frenzy’ in northern Michigan.
Spending is up, even amid a pandemic. And many consumers are keeping money closer to home, saving a coffee shop near Saline and increasing traffic in downtowns.
Michigan’s reserves to pay jobless claims are dwindling amid record unemployment claims. Starting Jan. 1, employers would have to pay more into the system, but some lawmakers want to avoid that prospect.
Consumer spending is up amid the pandemic, as Michigan residents are spending federal bailout money designed to keep the economy going amid the pandemic. But state economists warn Michigan still faces tough times.
Economists are starting to get data that indicate a longer, slower recovery period following steep job losses during the coronavirus pandemic.
‘We need to find jobs that people can keep,’ says one store owner as the second-largest employer in Evart closed this summer. It’s just another blow to a community fighting for stability during the coronavirus pandemic.