Middle Market Remains Uncertain

(l-r): Ric DeVore, Regional President, Detroit & Southeast Michigan, PNC Bank; Dr. Timothy Nash, Vice President of Strategic and Corporate  Alliances & Fry Endowed Professor in Free Market Economics, Northwood University; Dr. Keith A. Pretty, President & CEO, Northwood University; Pat O’Keefe, Founder & CEO, O’Keefe; Mike Boudreau, Managing Director, O’Keefe; and David Lochner, President, Michigan FirstMerit Bank.

Northwood University, Michigan Business Leaders Express Caution about Economic Future.

According to Northwood University’s Drs. Keith Pretty and Timothy Nash, the future of the U.S. middle market—companies with revenues between $50 million and $1 billion— remains uncertain.

“The U.S. economy is trying to recover but the uncomfortable reality it’s not as healthy as people and politicians want to believe,” stated Nash, vice president of strategic and corporate alliances and Fry endowed chair in free market economics at Northwood University.

“When you look at everything from our national debt and corporate tax rates to government expenditures as a percentage of GDP and capital gains taxes, the U.S. has been and continues to fall behind. Our studies, both at the national and the state level, show that economic freedom is absolutely fundamental to growing and maintain a healthy economy.”

Nash’s observations follow his presentation at a recent forum, “Prospering in an Uncertain Middle Market,” co-hosted by O’Keefe and Northwood University in Troy, Michigan. The event took place on March 19, 2014, and featured the results of an O’Keefe survey about the future of the middle market economy in the Midwest region as well as Northwood University’s “2013 Michigan Economic Competitiveness Study,” sponsored by the Michigan Chamber Foundation.

According to Keith A. Pretty, president and CEO for Northwood University and panel moderator for “The Middle Market Forum,” the O’Keefe and Michigan Chamber studies highlight both strengths and opportunities at the state and national levels. Pretty commented, “If policy makers truly want to understand why economic growth is lingering nationally, as well as in a number of states, they need look no further than our business leaders. Both the O’Keefe survey and the Michigan Chamber report tell us what’s on their minds. The key is implementing policies which reflect the data and reforming those that don’t.”

To see the 2013 Michigan Economic Competitiveness Study, go to:  http://www.northwood.edu/documents/publications/2013-MI-CHAMBER-REPORT.pdf

To see the Prospering in an uncertain Middle Market report, go to:  http://www.okeefellc.com/pdf/Prospering%20in%20an%20uncertain%20Middle%20Market.pdf


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