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Entrepreneurship Score Card shows Michigan’s small businesses not experiencing strong economic recovery

December 2, 2021

LANSING – Michigan’s economy has seen clear and consistent improvement in 2021, but that trend is not representative of the recovery being experienced by small businesses, according to the fall edition of the Michigan Entrepreneurship Score Card released today.

The 17th Annual Score Card, released by Michigan Celebrates Small Business in conjunction with the Small Business Association of Michigan, included both a spring and fall edition to analyze the quickly changing economy amid the pandemic.

“The story of Michigan’s economic recovery is complicated and changing quickly,” said SBAM President Brian Calley. “While it is great to see consistent overall economic growth, the topline statistics are not necessarily representative of what’s happening with small businesses who have experienced significant closures and lost revenue. New challenges of acute workforce shortages, rising costs, and supply chain disruptions are hampering the recovery.”

The fall Score Card identified factors that helped and factors that hindered Michigan’s economic rehabilitation, in addition to what the state’s prospects are for a full and robust recovery. Signs of positive improvement include:

  • Eight months of improved gross domestic product in a row on the Comerica Economic Activity Index.
  • Overall, Michigan’s economy is improving at an average pace as compared to a majority of states in 2021, according to the State Coincidence Index of the Philadelphia Reserve Bank.

The Score Card showed that while Michigan’s recovery is occurring, many industries dominated by small businesses are still struggling. The report showed that:

  • Changing consumer habits drove customers to large online retailers and long-term closures and restrictions decimated small stores, restaurants, and event venues.
  • A significant permanent shift to remote work has left many downtown business districts lagging behind in their recovery.
  • Personal consumption expenditures on goods have fully rebounded, but personal expenditures on services remain below pre-pandemic levels. The service industry is dominated by small businesses.
  • Employers are reporting significant hardships in staffing their businesses to grow or even remain fully open. The pandemic seems to have exacerbated a long-term decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate.
  • The Michigan recovery is below the national average in both the number of small businesses open and the loss in revenue experienced by small businesses, as compared to the year before the pandemic.
  • Rising costs are squeezing margins for small businesses and supply chain disruptions are presenting to challenges to economic recovery.

The full Score Care report is available to download at

The Small Business Association of Michigan focuses solely on serving the needs of Michigan’s small business community through advocacy, collaboration and buying power. Today they serve over 28,000 members in all 83 counties of Michigan. SBAM is located in Lansing, just one block from the Capitol.


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