West Michigan Policy Forum Plans Premier Biennial Conference This Fall

Small business owners, legislators and economic development officials throughout Michigan  – it’s time to register for the West Michigan Policy Forum’s biennial conference in Grand Rapids on Thursday, Sept. 12. This year’s focus is on policies to grow Michigan.

Participants can join business leaders from around the state and country to discuss the latest efforts and policy recommendations to help create jobs and economic opportunities in the Great Lakes State. The last event in 2022 brought more than 300 leaders and legislators together to discuss innovative ways to move Michigan forward.

Michigan now ranks in the bottom 14 states for its economy, according to the U.S. News and World Report. The ranking measures each state’s business environment, labor market and overall economic growth. In addition, Michigan’s personal income per capita dropped from 16th nationally in 1999 to 39th last year, according to a Michigan Future Inc. report that is referenced on our MI Economic Scorecard.

And in one of the most practical barometers of a state’s overall desirability, U-haul has Michigan as a bottom-five state for outbound population migration.

The Policy Forum was disappointed that the state’s recent Growing Michigan Together Council recommended several proposals that could hinder the state’s ability to grow Michigan’s population and economy.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer created the council to propose policy initiatives to increase Michigan’s dwindling population, though policies adopted in the past year take Michigan back to a time when we lost jobs, residents and tax revenue.

During this fall’s conference, speakers and panelists will point out why Michigan is failing to attract new residents and, more importantly, why current Michiganders are deciding to pick up and leave the state.

The conference takes place from noon to 5 p.m. at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids. Those interested in registering can learn more here.