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Michigan Makes Dramatic Improvement in Top States for Business Rankings

In CNBC’s Top States for Business annual ranking, Michigan improved 13 spots from 2019, to move up to 11th. The jump in the rankings was driven by high scores in the categories of technology and innovation, cost of living, and cost of doing business.

Chamber Perspective: Michigan’s dramatic improvement in CNBC’s Top States for Business ranking should not be seen as a one-off year-over-year improvement. Moving up 13 places is a reflection of the commitment from the Detroit Regional Chamber, its partners in the business community, and leaders at every level of government in the state to improve Michigan’s competitiveness in a global marketplace. 

The annual ranking, which was last released in 2019, evaluates 10 broad categories of competitiveness, in part based on issues states have identified as the most important in business attraction efforts. In 2021, cost of doing business and infrastructure categories took on increased importance in the ranking – both areas Michigan excelled in.

Chamber Legislative Priorities

Every year the Chamber’s government relations team advocates for its members’ key priorities. The government relations team works with Republicans and Democrats at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure that these issues are at the forefront of the state’s agenda. The Chamber has made infrastructure and the cost of doing business significant priorities on its yearly agenda. Increasing dedicated infrastructure funding, supporting the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, and promoting regional transit options have helped improve the state’s standing.

Additionally, the Chamber has encouraged regional policies that are consistent with state and federal law and balance local needs with economic growth.

See legislative priorities from the past five years:


Working to help Michigan Excel

“By ensuring critical relief to small businesses throughout the state during the pandemic and keeping a focus on long-term economic growth in the state, Michigan is in a position to not only recover but thrive as we continue our efforts to jumpstart the economy,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “We are excited to see the impact of these efforts reflected in CNBC’s Top States for Business Ranking as we keep that momentum going by getting people back to work across the state.”

According to CNBC, “Truly competitive states prize innovation, nurture new ideas, and have the resources to support them,” and Michigan once again scored high in the technology and innovation category, which looks at factors including patents issued per capita and the vitality of each state’s technology ecosystem based on people, companies, and investment. The Chamber and MICHauto have worked to make Michigan a more attractive place for investment by the top technology companies in the world, ensuring Michigan continues to lead in research and development testing for next-generation mobility solutions and other emerging industry sectors.