Index shows positive business outlook for state

MARQUETTE — Some were celebrating and others were licking their wounds the morning after the Presidential Election, but a group of players in the U.P. business world got some good news Wednesday morning.

Michigan Business Network CEO Chris Holman delivered the results of this year’s Michigan Future Business Index. According to the report, business in the state is picking back up. Holman said that small businesses surveyed in the index are anticipating hiring and putting more money into the training of employees in order to attract and keep talent.

Finding qualified workers is a challenge that is currently affecting business growth.

“We’re seeing for the first time in quite a while small business in particular not being able to grow because they can’t get the talent they need,” said Holman. “So we’re at kind of a tipping point right there, and we’ve got to get our hands on more talent here.”

Holman said school systems and economic development groups are working toward addressing this challenge. He added that the indefinite idle of the Empire Mine will have an impact, but likely only a small one given the overall positive outlook in the area.

“Yeah, it would be nice to have that open. It would be nice to have it mining. It would be nice to have more people at work, but there are other things that can happen. You’ve had some pretty good growth here, especially in the Marquette region in the last year, and really the expectations are that will kind of continue, and with growth, of course, you bring jobs. You bring opportunities,” Holman added.

The morning’s activities also featured a panel of local business leaders giving their perspectives on the region’s business future. Click here to find out more about the Michigan Business Network.