Detroit Regional Chamber > Advocacy > Policy Priorities

Policy Priorities

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Brad Williams

Venturing further into the 2024 election year, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s advocacy team continues its commitment to ensure business priorities are properly represented in Detroit, Lansing, and Washington, D.C.

Explore the Chamber’s 2024 policy priorities and how Chamber members can engage with policymakers to accomplish new and lingering policy goals for their businesses. The Chamber team looks forward to another year of significant achievements for Michigan businesses.

-Brad Williams, Vice President, Government Relations, Detroit Regional Chamber

Business Climate

When government pursues regulatory, labor, legal, or tax policies that increase the cost of doing business, it diminishes Michigan’s global competitiveness. The Chamber will support policies that emphasize Michigan’s competitive advantages, eliminate its disadvantages, and streamline government processes to grow the state’s economy.

Priority Policies

  • Streamline Michigan’s permitting process to ensure certainty in the cost and timeliness of doing business.
  • Prevent local governments from setting local labor regulations.
  • Maintain competitive payroll tax levels for employers and employees.
  • Manage benefits efficiently, engaging private sector solutions to maintain quality and reduce fraud.

Explore How Michigan Compares to Other States

Michigan Voter Poll LogoRespondents Rank Michigan’s Qualities as Advantages, Disadvantages, or Having No Impact on Competitiveness Compared to Other States


2024 Policy Priorities Business Climate Data

Related: View results from the latest Michigan Voter Poll.



Sandy Baruah

“Inconsistency in policy from administration to administration is a further detriment to Michigan’s pro-growth environment. …The lack of continuity in such business policies [like Right to Work] continues to be a challenge for Michigan and will play a role in businesses’ decisions to stay in or come to the state.”

-Sandy K. Baruah, President and Chief Executive Officer, Detroit Regional Chamber


Economic Development

Michigan needs holistic, cohesive economic development incentives. Economic development programs should have longevity across administrations and follow a consistent set of strategic goals that recognize the hyper-competitive global market, expand existing industries, and attract new businesses and talent in areas of our competitive advantage.

Policy Priorities

  • Encourage high-wage, knowledge-based jobs by creating and implementing a robust R&D tax credit.
  • Re-establish a payroll credit for job creation that exceeds the regional median wage, freeing up other economic development resources.
  • Create an evergreen fund for Michigan-based companies to
    boost entrepreneurship in the state and support a more comprehensive strategy to foster
    Michigan’s innovation ecosystem.

Explore Voters’ Perception of Michigan’s Competitiveness

Michigan Voter Poll LogoOnly One in Five Respondents Believe Michigan is More Competitive Than Other

Respondents were asked if they think Michigan is more competitive, less competitive, or about as competitive as other states at attracting new businesses and jobs.


2024 Policy Priorities Economic Development Data



Gov Gretchen Whitmer at 2024 State of the State“Michigan is one of only two states in the country that can’t throw cash at a company. So, what can we do? … have a great workforce. We can have great partnerships so we can have sites that are ready. We can do a lot of things…to make sure that Michigan is competitive. And we’ve been successful in doing that, but we have to work.”

-Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at the 2023 Detroit Regional Chamber State of the State Event


To foster a stronger workforce that will thrive in the 21st-century economy, the Chamber set the goal to increase the postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60% by 2030 – a goal later adopted by the State of Michigan. As part of that, the Chamber supports a pre-K-14 education approach, strong college preparation, focus on student success, and promotion of high-value degrees and other credentials.

Policy Priorities

  • Create financial incentives for employers, stakeholders, and educational institutions to offer wrap-around services to promote continuous college enrollment and completion.
  • Establish employer support for a pre-K-14 education initiative that recognizes and reinforces the value of postsecondary degree attainment.
  • Continue an ongoing partnership with Launch Michigan to ensure high school graduates complete a skills-based curriculum with higher expectations for student performance, their learning environments, and the environments in which teachers work.

Explore How Education Level Impacts Decisions About Staying in the State

Michigan Voter Poll Logo

Education Level Impacts Decision to Stay in or Leave Michigan; Those With a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher Least Likely to Stay

All respondents were asked, on a scale of one to 10, how likely it was that they would be living in Michigan 10 years from now, 10 being the most likely. When broken down by education level, those with a bachelor’s degree or higher are less likely to stay.


2024 Policy Priority Talent Data Point



Santa Ono“We have to do a better job connecting [students] with future employment. We do a very poor job as a sector in articulating where the jobs are from day one and counseling them about the kinds of experiences and internships and co-ops that can really make them competitive once they apply.”

-Santa J. Ono, President of the University of Michigan, at the Chamber’s 2023 State of Education and Talent Event


The home of MICHauto, the state’s only automotive and mobility cluster association, the Chamber knows that Michigan must take a fact-based, business-focused approach to support the industry’s evolution despite pervasive politicization, especially around the topic of electrification. Policymakers and economic developers should capitalize on Michigan’s manufacturing and innovation legacy to solidify its economic future and continued global leadership during this time of change. It is going to require investment in supply chain, innovation, and infrastructure to be successful. The Chamber and MICHauto will support Michigan’s prosperous mobility future.

Policy Priorities

  • Support efforts to boost Michigan’s high-tech and manufacturing talent strategy, including successful training programs like GoingPRO and recruiting the best international talent.
  • Ensure Michigan remains the best place for the automotive industry to do business, prioritizing the development of smart infrastructure needed to attract and retain next-generation mobility manufacturers and users.
  • Support investments in Michigan’s transportation infrastructure including its highways, local roads, mass transit, ports, railroads, and non-motorized transportation systems.
  • Contend for all available federal, state, and local resources.

Explore the UAW Strike’s Impact on Competitiveness

Michigan Voter Poll LogoWould the UAW Strike Make the Detroit Three More Competitive, Less Competitive, or Have No Impact on Their Competitiveness Against Other Auto Companies?

2024 Policy Priorities Mobility Data Point



Glenn Stevens Jr.“The clean energy transition is happening, and it is critical that Michigan is a leader in the technology development, manufacturing, and adoption of electric vehicles. At the same time, the transition will take time and needs to be balanced. Support for new EV sales and for those vehicles made in America is important as Michigan moves forward as a leader in the technology of today and tomorrow.”

-Glenn Stevens Jr., Executive Director, MICHauto; Vice President, Automotive and Mobility Initiatives, Detroit Regional Chamber

Regional Growth

We are one Region made up of many political entities. The Chamber works to bring regional leaders together to work on issues of common interest, transportation, economic development, and shared resources. To that end, the Chamber encourages open dialogue, fiscal responsibility, and regional solutions.

Policy Priorities

    • Advocate for funding from all levels of government to provide coordinated regional transit throughout the Detroit Region that seamlessly connects communities across counties. Connected regional transit will encourage increased economic participation and improve the Region’s attractiveness as a destination for businesses and talent.
    • Encourage collaborative economic development efforts across political boundaries.

Explore Voters’ Economic Perceptions

2024 State of the Region LogoDespite Improving Economic Performance and Confidence in Their Personal Economic Conditions, Voters Remain Sour on the Economy Overall

2024 Policy Priorities Regional Growth Data Point

Related: Learn more about the State of the Region.



Mark Hackel“Get in the damn aisle and solve…the problems that the people are seeing…Find out what the real answers are, and let’s not make them political answers. Let’s do things that are on behalf of the people, that they truly want us to solve as public officials elected for everyone.”

-Mark Hackel, Macomb County Executive, at the 2023 Meet Southeast Michigan County Leaders Event

Democracy, Equity, and Good Government

The Chamber represents businesses; it engages with complex issues that impact society broadly and businesses differently. Employers need a stable, free democracy with a well-educated, civilly engaged electorate. The Chamber expects elected officials to work in a bipartisan way focused on constituent needs and inclusive economic prosperity. Further, well-formed policies to achieve economic equity establish long-term economic benefits and grow future business leaders.

Policy Priorities

  • Support democratic norms and institutions, and encourage bipartisan participation and civility, continuing the Chamber’s long-time emphasis on voting rights and election security.
  • Utilize data through The Chamber’s ongoing partnership with the Gallup Center on Black Voices to inform strategic policie and investments in priority social services.
  • Bolster efforts to provide capital to minority entrepreneurs and minority-owned businesses, including tax credits, loans, and grants.
  • Advocate for innovative criminal justice strategies that focus on public safety and equitable enforcement.

Explore Voters’ Confidence in Democratic Processes

Michigan Voter Poll Logo
Voters Feed Good About Democracy


2024 Policy Priorities Democracy Data Point



Liz Cheney Speaking at 2023 Mackinac Policy Conference“When we put people in positions of authority who deny the sanctity of our elections, we really do put the republic at risk. …We all have to support people we know will defend the Constitution and people who will do what’s right.

-Liz Cheney, Former U.S. Representative, at the 2023 Mackinac Policy Conference”


Get Involved

Detroit Regional Chamber Political Action Committee (PAC)

The Chamber PAC comprises business leaders representing bipartisan views and reflecting diversity in industry, business size, and location. The Chamber PAC historically makes bipartisan endorsements based on alignment with the Chamber’s policy priorities. In the 2022 general election, more than 93% of the PAC’s endorsed candidates won their respective races.

Advocacy Advisory Council

The Advocacy Advisory Council is an exclusive opportunity for Elite Chamber members to receive updates directly from the Government Relations team on issues impacting the business community, hear from guest speakers and leaders in the community, and provide valuable feedback on policy and other issues at the local, state, and national level.

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Learn more about the Chamber PAC or Advocacy Advisory Council.

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Meet the Government Relations Team

Providing business a voice in government, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Government Relations team advocates for policy outcomes that support the regional economy and Michigan’s business community. Learn more about the Chamber’s advocacy efforts at or contact Vice President of Government Relations, Brad Williams, at