Acquiring and Retaining Talent, Health Insurance Costs and Wage Inflation Highlight Concerns of Business Owners According to Latest Michigan Future Business Index

December 13, 2018

The latest Michigan Future Business Index (MFBI) data show acquiring and retaining talent remains the top challenge for Michigan’s small- to mid-sized business leaders. However, the rising cost of health insurance and higher wages have emerged as additional concerns. Forty-five percent of survey respondents plan to raise wages in the next six months, up 10 points from 35 percent one year ago. Concerns for rising health insurance costs were up 10 points since last December.

Overall, business owners enjoy continued strength in sales and profits, while many employers continue to point to an improving economy, excellent employees, in-demand products/services and the hope for more regulatory reform.

More than eight-in-ten (84 percent) of respondents are satisfied with the overall economy and 78 percent believe Michigan is a good or excellent market for their business.

On the flip side, the survey pointed to less optimism for continued increases in 2019 sales and profits, and a concern that new tariffs have and will continue to produce a negative impact on their business.

“Despite the challenges, the reasons for optimism are clear: business is growing and jobs are relatively abundant,” said Mike Seling, vice president of Business Development and Regional Operations, Accident Fund Insurance Company of America. “We continue to see a very strong business environment throughout the state and Accident Fund is poised to have another good year in 2019.”

“I have witnessed first-hand the optimism and concerns of business owners in Michigan,” said Chris Holman, CEO of the Michigan Business Network. “The MFBI helps us amplify the voice of small business in Michigan and provide data to guide decisions of business advocacy organizations and policymakers, setting an agenda to help Michigan business prosper.”

Review a detailed summary of the Winter 2018 Michigan Future Business Index at

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