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Sunday, 20 December 2015 23:10

CRYSTAL BALL 2016: What's Next?

Written by  Joe Boomgaard and Brian Edwards
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The annual year-end Crystal Ball edition from MiBiz has been an ever-evolving concept since it was first introduced in 2007. Underlying each iteration was a desire to look ahead, to provide valuable information to readers as they develop business strategies for the coming year.

This year, we decided to put some stronger framework around that process. We partnered with Crain’s Detroit Business and enlisted Epic/MRA to engage business leaders across the state in an executive sentiment survey sponsored by the law firm Honigman.

The results of that survey are spelled out in a comprehensive story by Mark Sanchez on page 5, but here’s a sneak peek at what West Michigan readers like you told us.


  • 88 percent said their personal financial situation is about the same or getting better.
  • 42 percent thought business prospects for their companies would improve in the coming year.
  • 53 percent expected to raise wages for their employees by an average of around 4.5 percent.


  • 29 percent believe the next downturn will happen soon — either next year (15 percent) or 13 to 18 months from now (14 percent).
  • 10 percent said talent remains a major concern heading into 2016.
  • 6 percent cited rising health care costs as a worry for next year.
  • 5 percent thought government regulations were hurting their business.

On the heels of the announcement of the $130 billion Dow-DuPont mega merger, and coming off a year in which M&A activity is bound for the record books, 14 percent of respondents in West Michigan also said there was a 50/50 chance or better that they’d be involved in a business transaction in the coming year.

That finding offers the chance to highlight some of the upcoming special features we have planned for MiBiz in 2016.

It takes capital to do deals — or, frankly, to launch and grow a business. That’s why our reporting team will first dive into a comprehensive regional capital outlook in the Jan. 11 edition and follow it up with an in-depth M&A outlook special report on Jan. 25.

Both data-rich special reports will feature outlook stories on the West Michigan region and how we compare nationally, as well as extensive lists and executive roundtables.

These new projects are a part of our commitment to help readers find ways to save money, make money and access money to grow their businesses. They’re the first of many changes you’ll see at MiBiz in 2016, as we, too, look for growth in the coming year.

Here’s hoping there’s more business opportunities for you in the new year.


Read 2013 times Last modified on Monday, 28 December 2015 10:27

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