Mackinac Island – Michigan and all states need to do seven things to be considered business friendly, Michael Porter, a top business professor at Harvard, told the Detroit Regional Chamber Policy Conference.
None of the seven items directly had to do with lowering taxes, and some should not have to cost the state any money, he said.
Amount those that should not cost any money, Porter said the state needs to simplify and streamline regulations (not necessarily reduce regulations, just make them faster to comply with) and reduce unnecessary costs of business.
He also said the state should adjust its training programs in line with business needs (which Governor Rick Snyder and former Governor Jennifer Granholm had sough).
The state also needs to encourage emerging growth companies.
Also critical is to have a good infrastructure, Porter said. If Michigan had a good infrastructure system, “it could be an amazing logistical hub for America.”
Then, he said thestate has to protect its universities (a university offical grouse to one reporter that while Snyder and others are promoting a new bridge to Canada as a job producer, “We produce lots of jobs too, but nobody seems to care about us.”)
And most critically, the state has to fix public education, Porter said. “Unless you get that right, nothing else will be right,” he said.