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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Gallup CEO to economic conference: Entrepreneurial spirit a necessity

10:51 AM, March 19, 2013  
Of all the talent and skills that America needs, an entrepreneurial spirit may be the most important, the head of the Gallup polling organization told the Governor’s Economic Conference in Detroit this morning.
Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup, gave the morning keynote presentation at Cobo Center and said that America misplaces the emphasis on innovation."We have a gross oversupply of innovation" and not enough entrepreneurship, Clifton told the several hundred attendees that included Gov. Rick Snyder."Innovation has no value whatsoever until a customer is standing next to it," he added. Using the old maxim about putting the horse before the cart, he said that the cart holds innovation but cannot go anywhere without the horse of entrepreneurship.But only three of 1,000 people may be true natural entrepreneurs, he said, and America needs to do a better job of identifying them early and getting them the training they need, much as America identifies sports talent at a young age.The conference thus continued the emphasis on how to nurture talent in Michigan and how to connect skilled workers with the available jobs to bring down Michigan’s unemployment rate, still historically high at around 9% even three years after the recession officially ended.Among other remarks, panelists spoke to the need to create vibrant places to live and play in addition to creating good jobs.“Sense of place and quality of place are an important part of what we have to sell,” Mike Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., told the conference.Contact John Gallagher at Gallagher@freepress.com or 313-222-5173

I agree that the entrepreneurial spirit is extremely important.  Rogers City has enjoyed four new businesses start this year.  But, we need more of this spirit.  It is essential to future American propserity.  Rogers City welcomes people with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Job Growth in Rogers City and Michigan

Here is another article documenting growth in the Michigan economy.  Rogers City is growing too with new jobs being created for the first time in several years.

Susan Tompor: Michigan's job growth could outstrip nation's, economist says

By Susan Tompor

Detroit Free Press Personal Finance Columnist

Michigan could still see somewhat stronger job growth than the rest of the country, thanks to the strength in manufacturing and the auto industry, according to a PNC economist.
Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for the PNC Financial Services Group, told a meeting of the Detroit Economic Club on Thursday that the broader metro Detroit region could add 35,000 to 40,000 jobs a year in the next couple of years.
On the downside, he noted that 300,000 jobs in the metro region were lost as part of the deep recession. During the recovery so far, about 75,000 jobs have been added back -- meaning that only one out of four jobs came back.
It may take another couple of years to reach a level where half of those jobs lost in the metro region have returned, he said.
But Hoffman called himself cautiously optimistic about the Michigan economy and the U.S. economy.
He's forecasting that the U.S. jobless rate could edge nearer to 7.25% by year-end, down from 7.7% for February.
He used the analogy of an economic engine that's not firing on all cylinders but receives plenty of power from consumer spending and job growth.
What's holding back the economy?
Hoffman said the economy is seeing slower growth because the federal government must work through its fiscal challenges, state and local governments need to control spending and hiring, and U.S. exports are limited by global economic troubles, including the recession in Europe.
Yet Hoffman said consumer credit is more available to fuel car sales and home sales.
Hoffman stressed that the housing recovery is real. "It's not the false start like a couple of years ago," Hoffman said.
Hoffman said PNC is forecasting that car and light-truck sales will hit 15.6 million vehicles this year -- and 16 million vehicles in 2014.
He also had a favorable outlook for gasoline prices at the pump, as long as there aren't troubles in the Middle East or other global issues.
Gas prices are likely to edge closer to $4 a gallon in the spring. "But I don't believe we're going to $4.50 to $5 a gallon," Hoffman said.
He noted that many people would prefer to see the U.S. economy firing on all cylinders -- where the country's output of goods and services grows at a 3% to 4% annual rate. And many would like to see the U.S. economy add 3 million jobs a year.
But Hoffman said the challenges ahead mean that growth is likely to be slower -- more in the 2% range for the nation's gross domestic product and the nation would likely add 2 million jobs this year.
"Call it a rut, call it a groove. It's a little bit below trend," Hoffman said.
Contact Susan Tompor: 313-222-8876 or stompor@freepress.com

Monday, March 11, 2013

Real Estate Improving in Rogers City

Here is an article from The Detroit News about the progressing real estate market  "up north."
March 9, 2013 at 1:00 am

Up north cottage market is starting to heat up

More home buyers from downstate and beyond Michigan are buying vacation homes such as this one southeast of Traverse City. (John L. Russell / Special to The Detroit News)
Michigan's vacation home market is warming up, with sales across northern Michigan higher than they've been in years, according to real estate agents.
More home buyers from downstate and beyond Michigan are purchasing vacation homes. Prices have dropped about 15-20 percent from where they were in 2005, real estate agents say.
But prices are now stable — and inching upward — and buyers are taking advantage and shopping with increased confidence in the economy.
And that's good news for the communities that depend on summer residents.
Some of the same factors affecting the rest of the housing market — namely, high demand and low inventory — are impacting the second-home market, too.
Many of the transactions are cash sales, as homeowners try to avoid complicated second-home mortgages and steep down payments.
But interest rates remain favorable, and while the market has improved slowly over the past few years, analysts expect even bigger gains this year.
"We've seen a broad recovery in vacation home buying," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors. "The Michigan market has been rising in both transaction activity and prices."
The Great Lakes state is mirroring the national trend.
According to 2011 data from the National Association of Realtors — the most recent numbers available — the total number of vacation home sales nationwide increased by 7 percent from 2010 to 2011.
"Last year was a banner year and this year is launching the same way," said Kim Pontius, executive vice president of the Traverse Area Association of Realtors. "There's been a lot going on in this market."

Starting to look and buy

Jeff Dykstra, a real estate agent with North West Realty in Lake County, is seeing the most activity since he joined the company in 2004.
Dykstra said he's already sold nine vacation homes in what's typically the slowest selling period of the year — well ahead of the typical two or three sales most agents see in the year's first quarter.
"People are starting to come look more and they're starting to buy," he said. "They've been sitting back and waiting and we may have finally bottomed out."
The average vacation home Dykstra sells in Lake County, about 80 miles north of Grand Rapids, is between $80,000 and $90,000, he said.
"Most of the properties are in the lower price range," he said. "The economy seems to be turning around and all these offers are coming in $15,000 below the asking price."
The National Association of Realtors said the median vacation home price decreased by 19.1 percent nationwide in 2011 to $121,300, compared with $150,000 in 2010.
Ken Maroney, 49, took advantage of Michigan's low vacation home deals. Maroney, a Scottsdale, Ariz., resident, has purchased three lakefront vacation homes near Kalkaska in the past few years and leases them year-round.
He said he paid $650,000 for all three.
"I wanted to invest in property and I wanted to get in before things started picking up too much," he said.

Lakefront interest stronger

Sue Vowels, a Coldwell Banker associate broker who handled Maroney's most recent property — a 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bathroom house on Manistee Lake that sold for $280,000 — said interest in lakefront vacation homes is "stronger than it has been in the last four years."
Waterfront properties in Kalkaska County sold for an average of $143,182, Vowels said. She attributes an uptick in sales to consumer confidence.
"I think it's a safer bet than the stock market or money in the bank," she said.

Traverse City area hot spot

Kalkaska and other areas near Traverse City are hot spots for sales, according to Pontius, whose Traverse Area Association of Realtors covers Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim and Benzie counties.
"We have a lot of what people are looking for," he said. There's year-round activity: resorts, big cities and rural areas."
Charlie Carpenter, 52, of Birmingham, bought a 1,800-square-foot beach house on Lake Michigan last year.
"Prices were down dramatically," he said. "Finance rates were really attractive as well."
Carpenter chose the area because of his family's affinity for sports like hiking, biking and kayaking.
"The region has a lot of things happening," Pontius said.
(313) 222-2401

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130309/BIZ/303090363#ixzz2NFSPTQOM

Friday, March 8, 2013

Michigan and Rogers City--Great Places for You

Here is a nice article from MEDC:


Michigan No. 4 for new corporate facilities and expansions

Tops Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky

Site Selection magazine has named Michigan the No. 4 state for major new corporate facilities and expansions in 2012, Gov. Rick Snyder has announced.
"Once again, the nation is taking notice of the bold reforms now driving Michigan forward. More companies are choosing to grow their futures in Michigan and that is reinforcing our well-earned reputation as America's comeback state," Snyder said. "The best way to boost our state's economy and improve the quality of life for all is to create an environment that encourages business investment, job growth and innovation." 
Site Selection (www.siteselection.com), a global business publication, verified 337 projects in Michigan that met capital investment, job-creation or size standards as part of its annual Governor's Cup ranking. This year, Michigan finished behind first-place Texas, second-place Ohio and third-place Pennsylvania. Rounding out the top 10 were Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. 
Major new corporate projects for Michigan in 2012 included expansions by leading automotive suppliers MAHLE (Farmington Hills), Brose (New Boston, Auburn Hills and Warren), and Dart Container's headquarters expansion (Mason); General Motors' new innovation center (Warren), Magna Sealing and Glass Systems (Holland Charter Township) and Hark Orchids' new propagation facility (Kalamazoo), the company's first global expansion outside of Germany. 
Rogers City is a great place to expand your business and corporate facilities.  It is a terrific location!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Bright Future" Article by Neille Giffune

Bright economic future for seven local counties
Posted: 02.21.2013 at 7:16 PM
Neille Giffune
Neille is the Assistant News Director at NBC25. She comes to Mid-Michigan from Reading, PA where she served as a weekend sports anchor/reporter.
Read more: Local, Economy, Business, Community, Education, News, Michigan, Lapeer, University of Michigan, Research, Labor, Employment, Economy, Jobs, Unemployment, Genesee County
LAPEER -- It is no secret that the local economy has suffered in recent years but according to the Economic Growth Alliance things are looking up for Genesee County.
The EGA announced their annual economic forecast at a luncheon at the Lapeer Country Club.
Two of the University of Michigan's top economists addressed the crowd and laid out a bright future for the seven counties represented in the Economic Growth Alliance.
"The jobs already coming back", says Dr. George Fulton of the University of Michigan Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy.
The Alliance's forecast focuses on regional employment for seven counties, including Genesee, Lapeer, and Shiawassee.
"After the 2009 the region lost 110,000 jobs in one year, and over the last three years we have gained back about 75,000 jobs"
And it will keep growing. The Alliance estimates the counties will bring in almost 76,000 new jobs in the next three years.
"These numbers show we are recovering and i am optimistic that there will be 4,000 new jobs through 2015 in Genesee county", says Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Tim Herman.
According to the study, Genesee County is one of the slower growing areas but unemployment rates are expected to decrease.
"The unemployment rates go from 9.2 percent to 7.3 percent, so I am cautiously optimistic", adds Herman.
Fulton says unemployment rate is still too high and says one of the main goals is helping those still unemployed get back to work.