by Chris Wendel, Regional Director, Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center.
Listen to Chris every Wednesday from 10:30 to 11:30 am on 1270 WMKT Radio with Vic McCarty.
"Things aren't always as good as seem and things aren't ever as bad as they seem, reality is somewhere in the middle." --Lou Holtz
Michigan's economic situation has been a major topic of discussion of conversation in the past few weeks. But just how bad is the economy of Northwest Lower Michigan compared to the rest of the state or the nation? Unemployment figures show that many of our counties have lower unemployment rates compared to southeast Michigan where the auto industry has contributed a large number of job losses.
Circumstances in the Detroit metro area do have an impact on secondary automobile suppliers here in our region. Many of these companies have diversified into making parts for non-automotive companies. Like any other entrepreneur, the challenge for many companies during trying times is to create solutions and adjust to the conditions as they change.
The building industry is feeling the brunt of national and state economic conditions. The decrease in building permits for Northwest Lower Michigan is likely a combination of lower employment for the year round population, some foreclosures due to adjustable rate mortgages, and fewer downstate residents purchasing or building seasonal homes.