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Resolve, unity, vision essential to reverse Michigan’s population crisis

December 14, 2023

DETROIT – Jeff Donofrio, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, and Brian Calley, president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan, as leaders of Michigan’s business community and members of the Growing Michigan Together Council, have released a statement in response to the Council report issued today.

“The Growing Michigan Together Council Report makes the compelling case that Michigan is in crisis. It is an urgent call to action to unite behind a common vision for our state’s growth that will improve the lives of current residents as well as those who will return home or choose to live in this great state.

“We, as business leaders, have long advocated  for cohesive, holistic solutions to address Michigan’s population crisis that can withstand disruptions, transcend politics, and initiate lasting improvement.  Getting population trends back on track is critical to ensuring our state’s economic prosperity, political influence, and competitiveness. The risk is greatest if we do nothing.

“We are encouraged by the report’s focus on three interwoven and visionary strategies around education, the economy, and our communities. These are a set of guiding principles that, when developed and implemented, have potential to impact and change Michigan for the better.

“This is a unique opportunity to chart the course of our collective future, one that values and supports all Michiganders. The status quo won’t get us where we need to be. We must approach these challenges differently and come together to create the Michigan we want for today, tomorrow, and generations to come.”


About Business Leaders for Michigan

Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, is dedicated to making Michigan a Top 10 state for jobs, education, widely shared prosperity and a healthy economy. Our work is guided by the Compete to Win Plan, a comprehensive strategy for how government, community, education and business leaders can improve Michigan’s growth. The organization is composed exclusively of the executive leaders of Michigan’s largest companies and universities. Our members drive 40% of the state’s economy, generate over $1 trillion in annual revenue and serve more than half of all Michigan public university students. Find out more at

About the Detroit Regional Chamber

Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. As the voice for business in the 11-county Southeast Michigan region, the Chamber’s mission is carried out

by creating a business-friendly climate and providing value for members. The Chamber also executes the statewide automotive and mobility cluster association, MICHauto, and hosts the nationally recognized Mackinac Policy Conference. Additionally, the Chamber leads the most comprehensive education and talent strategy in the state. Learn more at

 About the Small Business Association of Michigan

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 more than 32,000 members in all 83 counties of Michigan. SBAM is located in Lansing, just one block from the Capitol.

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