Reading the letter below from a business owner is a must. In it he describes how his business, located in the metro detroit area, is struggling to find the talented individuals it needs to expand.
And his business is not some big high-tech manufacturing firm but rather a 40 person patent law firm that simply cannot find nor lure qualified candidates. His bottom line is that he will have to relocate or expand his business outside of Michigan in order to grow.
And why can't he attract the folks he needs? Not because of taxes or regulations. As a matter of fact he says "they have no impact" on his business and that they "spend more on copiers and toner than we do on state taxes"
Rather, over the course of his letter he lays out that the reason he can't attract the folks he needs is because of... place. As he says, "there's a simple reason why many people don't want to live here: it's an unpleasant place because most of it is visually unattractive and because it is lacking in quality living options other than tract suburbia." I could go on, but the letter is below for your reading at your leisure.
The bottom line is that we need to create vibrant communities that people want to live, work and play in. And while it can be argued that many Michigan communities are getting there, this is exactly the reason the League created its "Center for 21st Century Communities" with strategies and tools built around eight key assets. These assets are the focus of the League's upcoming convention, September 21-24th in Dearborn with speakers from around the country and our state engaged in creating communities for the next 50 years. Join us!
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail.
business owner says its about place letter.pdf (230.77 kb)