More Than 20 Business Organizations Urge Legislative Leaders, Governor Granholm to Balance the State Budget by Reducing Spending

More than 20 trade associations and chambers of commerce urged legislative leaders and Governor Granholm to balance the state budget by reducing spending at a press conference held today at the State Capitol.

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"The current economic slowdown has hit the private sector in Michigan very hard," said Michigan Chamber President & CEO Jim Barrett. "Across the state, businesses are cutting expenses while employees are being challenged to do more with less. The Governor and legislative leaders have indicated that the state needs to take the same approach to balance the state budget and we're here today to show support for that approach."

According to a recent statewide public opinion poll, 77% of Michigan voters say cut state government spending to balance the budget, while 87% say the overall level of taxes is too high or about right, and 41% say they would be less likely to vote for a legislator who raises taxes.

"We are here today on behalf of tens of thousands of job providers to indicate that the organizations we represent will be actively involved in the upcoming debate over how to balance the state budget," Barrett added.

The members of the business coalition are in agreement on the following two points:

* State government's budget must be brought back into line by reducing spending.

* No new or increased taxes on individuals or business.

Speaking on behalf of NFIB-Michigan, Assistant State Director Andrew J. Deloney said, "It's clear from NFIB's study of Michigan and other states that the state governments that have budget deficits have a spending problem. And the best solution to that problem is to cut spending. Any tax increase on individuals or business would hurt small businesses that are struggling to survive."

Speaking on behalf of the service sector, Jack McManus, COO of UNIBAR Maintenance Services, said, "If, instead of cutting spending, the Legislature expanded the sales tax to services, I would have to lay people off." UNIBAR is located in Ann Arbor and employs 500+ people.

Twenty-three trade associations and chambers of commerce have come together to support balancing the state budget by reducing spending. Following is the list of coalition members.


  Affiliated Building Services Contractors in Michigan
  Brewers Association of America
  Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
  Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce
  Michigan Association of Home Builders
  Michigan Bankers Association
  Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association
  Michigan Brewers Guild
  Michigan Business & Professional Association
  Michigan Chamber of Commerce
  Michigan Distributors & Vendors Association
  Michigan Food & Beverage Association
  Michigan Grocers Association
  Michigan Licensed Beverage Association
  Michigan Movers Association
  Michigan Restaurant Association
  Michigan Retailers Association
  Michigan Retail Hardware Association
  Midwest Carwash Association
  National Federation of Independent Business - MI
  Outdoor Advertising Association of MI
  Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM)
  The Beer Institute
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SOURCE: Michigan Chamber of Commerce

CONTACT: Betty McNerney of Michigan Chamber of Commerce,

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