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Economic Development Update: May 2013

A Message from Chamber Economic Development Council Chair Tricia Keith

Keith_Tricia11We’ve reached an important crossroads in the Detroit region’s journey back to global competitiveness, economic prosperity and vibrant community life – and we can’t afford to miss this great opportunity to choose the right road to travel.

On behalf of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), I am very pleased to continue our historic involvement in the Chamber’s economic development programs as chair of the Chamber’s Economic Development Leadership Council. I’ll be commenting on various issues from time to time in this newsletter, and I have the privilege of announcing some great news on the eve of the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference.

The Chamber’s economic development fundraising campaign, the Detroit Regional Prosperity Campaign, has surpassed its $2 million fundraising goal. This successful campaign, in which BCBSM was pleased to make a cornerstone investment, signals a green light from the Detroit region’s business community and public partners for the Chamber to pursue a collaborative, regionally based economic development strategy. Whether you care about Business Attraction, MICHauto, the Pure Michigan Business Connect strategic partnership or exciting new initiatives for business to engage in education reform, the Chamber’s economic development initiatives clearly target Michigan’s core assets and economic development needs.

Some friendly advice for the Chamber moving forward: please, keep up the good work.  In our regional, national and global economy, it won’t get any easier to produce jobs, capital investment and qualified talent. The Chamber has accomplished a remarkable amount in two years to rebuild its economic development programs – establishing core relationships with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, building programs that leverage our region’s capacity, and obtaining the buy-in of its regional private and public stakeholders. We look forward to celebrating the economic fruits of this labor at the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference.

Chamber’s Business Attraction Team Attends Aeromart Montreal in April

Montreal Aeromart GalaThe Detroit Regional Chamber’s Business Attraction team attended Aeromart Montreal, an international business convention for the aerospace industry, from April 22-25, 2013. The convention offered an opportunity to explore the aerospace market, detect business and investment opportunities, and promote the region as a destination for the aerospace industry. Business Attraction held more than 50 one-on-one business meetings with companies including Airbus, Safran and Bombardier to discuss opportunities on how the Detroit region could improve and fill gaps in the original equipment manufacturers procurement and supply chain and serve as an ideal location for future investment.

“The automotive industry has provided the infrastructure to support other industries– aerospace is a natural fit” said Maureen Krauss, vice president of economic development for the Chamber.

In addition to prospect calls, the Chamber team met with the U.S. Commercial Services and attended a presentation by SelectUSA on trends and expansion opportunities in the U.S. aerospace market. The Detroit region is committed to positioning itself to be a competitive aerospace industry cluster and plans follow-up discussions with 20 companies on how Southeast Michigan can meet the growing aerospace demands.

Guizhou Province Delegation Visits Detroit Region

IGuizhou Delegationn late April, the Business Attraction team, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and the Detroit Chinese Business Association (DCBA) hosted a Chinese Delegation from the Guizhou Province. The delegation consisted of 16 individuals representing the Guizhou government and companies. This was the delegation’s first trip to Michigan and served as a follow up to the 2012 Governor Rick Snyder’s trade mission to China.

The delegation’s whirlwind visit to North America featured Toronto, Detroit and Chicago. During their two-day stay in Michigan, the delegation became very impressed with the opportunities in Southeast Michigan. While in Michigan, the delegation attended several meetings including a visit to Lansing with Governor Snyder, meetings with Ford Motor Company at its world headquarters, a special tour of The Henry Ford museum, and a trade lunch at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s office. Nearly 80 public partners and private companies attended the lunch to learn more about opportunities for partnerships with companies in Guizhou, China. The MEDC, the Chamber and the DCBA are excited to further develop relationships with companies in Guizhou, China and look forward to future investment opportunities.

Detroit Regional Chamber Joins Lt. Gov. for Business Attraction Trip in Amsterdam

AmsterdamMichigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, Maureen Krauss, vice president of economic development, Detroit Regional Chamber, and Mark Kinsler, vice president of business attraction and business development, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, hosted 21 Dutch automotive companies with 40 representatives interested in exploring growth opportunities in the Detroit region in Amsterdam on April 18. Lt. Gov. Calley presented legislative updates, Kinsler spoke on inbound investment opportunities and Krauss presented on opportunities and trends in the automotive industry.

Participants were able to hear from two Dutch companies – Microflown Technologies and TNO Automotive that visited the Detroit region during the Battery Show, the premier showcase of the latest advanced battery technology. The Chamber addressed questions about the area and entering into the market, offered to provide strategic resources and introductions to public and private stakeholders, and guided interested companies through all stages of the investment process. The Chamber will continue to work with a handful of Dutch companies interested entering into the area.

Detroit Regional Chamber Kicks Off Site Selection Trip Tour in Phoenix

On Monday April 29, the Detroit Regional Chamber with participation from the Genesee & Flint Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), kicked off the first of five trips in 2013 to more aggressively promote the Detroit region to site consultant firms in the secondary markets of Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles/San Francisco, Cleveland and Indianapolis.

During the two-day Phoenix trip, the team met with four site consultant agencies and a total of 11 consultants that allowed us to gain valuable intelligence on individual projects and make the case for the Detroit region as a competitive location to those leading client expansions and relocations. This trip was crucial for developing personal relationships with consultants so they know who to call in the Detroit region with questions.

The next market visit is still to be determined, but the Chamber plans to invite two regional economic development partners on each trip moving forward to help build a business case. In addition to the Chamber site consultant led missions, the Chamber will also be participating in trips to New York, Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta in partnership with the MEDC and Southwest Michigan First.

For more information on the Chamber’s business attraction efforts, please contact the Chamber’s Vice President of Economic Development, Maureen Krauss, at 313.596.0367.

Auto is Taking Center Stage During 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference

As the Michigan automotive industry takes Center Stage during the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference, attendees are invited to attend a number of auto-focused sessions throughout the three-day event. Auto-focused sessions for the week include “A Global Perspective: Tier One Auto Suppliers Doing Business in Michigan” sponsored by PwC on May 29; “The Road to Recovery for the U.S. Auto Industry” hosted by Bank of America on May 30; “Funding Automotive Growth: Stimulating Job Creation in the Motor State” hosted by MICHauto on May 31; and “Summerfast: A Night of NASCAR Thrills” sponsored by the Michigan International Speedway and featuring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski. For more information on any of these panels or the growing list of dynamic speakers participating in this year’s Conference, click here.