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July 8: Work to Fix Michigan’s Crumbling Roads Continues Following Passage of Senate Plan

Work to Fix Michigan’s Crumbling Roads Continues Following Passage of Senate Plan

Last week, the Senate passed a package of bills meant to raise roughly $1.4 billion annually to help fix Michigan’s roads – a key development in the Detroit Regional Chamber’s top legislative priority. While the Chamber supports an increase in the state’s gas tax to help raise the funds necessary for transportation infrastructure improvements, it remains cautious about reallocating revenue from the general fund or other critical priorities and prefers a comprehensive user-based revenue model.

As the legislation returns to the House, the Chamber continues to advocate for a plan to fix Michigan’s road funding crisis that adheres to its five principles for transportation funding, which outline the necessary foundation for a comprehensive solution that supports a world-class infrastructure without undercutting key business and economic development efforts.

With aggressively supporting a comprehensive transportation solution a 2015 Mackinac Policy Conference To-Do List item, Brad Williams, vice president of government relations for the Chamber, recently appeared on WYYZ-TV 7 to outline how functional roads are critical to Michigan’s competitiveness. Click here to watch the interview.

Shiloh CEO and MICHauto Member Ramzi Hermiz Named EY Entrepreneur of the Year

The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates Shiloh Industries Inc. president and CEO and MICHauto member Ramzi Hermiz for being named “EY Entrepreneur of the Year” in the field of manufacturing and distribution. The award is recognized as the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs and honors individuals who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Created and managed by Chamber member EY, the award is a respected honor that celebrates entrepreneurs for launching new companies, opening markets and fueling job growth across the globe.

Hermiz was selected as this year’s award recipient for his vision and successful achievements since joining Shiloh Industries and “for strengthening the company’s product technology, global footprint and value proposition through organic growth and several strategic acquisitions.” Shiloh Industries remains a key partner and investor, supporting MICHauto’s efforts to promote, retain and grow the automotive industry in Michigan. Click here to read the full press release.

Free Fitness Programs, Tour of Eastern Market Open to Chamber Members

Detroit’s Eastern Market is inviting Detroit Regional Chamber members, especially those located in the downtown area, to visit its Tuesday market, which runs from July through October. Attendees can participate in free yoga classes at noon or Zumba classes at 1 p.m., as well as enjoy cooking demonstrations, children’s activities and food trucks. The Chamber is organizing a member group tour of Eastern Market this summer. If you are interested in participating, please contact Jonathan So at For more information, visit

SEMCOG Survey Seeks Business Input on Economic Development in Southeast Michigan; Forum Scheduled for July 15

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) is seeking input from across the region on the current state of Michigan’s economy and other factors that impact the state’s prosperity and competitiveness, focusing particularly on community assets, business climate and talent. Survey results will help SEMCOG and the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition develop a 2015-2016 economic development strategy, which will serve as a road map for the region’s continued economic recovery. Click here to take the survey. The deadline is July 31.

On July 15, SEMCOG will host an interactive business climate forum open to the public from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Detroit Regional Chamber. During this forum, attendees will be asked to provide input and share thoughts on a range of strategies that are important to attracting, retaining and growing businesses and jobs. The forum will focus on strategies for increasing capital funding, shaping responsive government and designing a fair and competitive tax structure. Click here to register for the forum.