MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Much of the conversation at this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference will center around Michigan’s economy and the state’s economic outlook.

A survey released on Tuesday by the conference’s host, the Detroit Regional Chamber, shows that in an open-ended question the issues seen as most important in the state is the economy and inflation.

Nearly 73% of the respondents in the survey said they think the state’s economy is on the wrong track.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was is at the conference to talk about things she sees as achievements in her first term in office. One of the measures of her performance will no doubt be the economy, as the state’s revenues are far higher than anticipated while businesses are struggling with higher prices on almost everything due to inflation.

“There are a lot of strengths, there are a lot of great things that are happening in the economy. There are a lot of pressure points and we’re all feeling it,” she told News 8 on Tuesday when asked what she’ll be telling business leaders about the economy. “Individuals are feeling it, when they go to the grocery store or gas up their car. These businesses are much the same.”

She said she had just spoken with the Michigan Auto Group.

“We know that that semiconductor shortage is putting pressure on everywhere in the supply chain,” she said. “That’s why we’re working so hard to make sure that as we lure investment into Michigan that it is in spaces that actually solve problems.”

Whitmer also said she’s still thinking about whether she will sign a pause on the state’s gas taxes that is expected to be approved by the Michigan Legislature.

The Senate overwhelmingly approved the three-month hiatus on the gas taxes, which add up to about 50 cents per gallon, last week. The House still needs to pass the package of bills before it goes to Whitmer.

“I’m willing to negotiate with the Legislature,” Whitmer told News 8. “I think we’ve got to be smart and make sure that we’re actually giving people relief now. We’ve got resources for the first time in a long time. We’ve managed well through this crisis. We’ve gotten resources from the federal government. We have an opportunity to make an investment right now with one time resources in some help relief right now.”

She said that the tax pause would not help those who do not drive or use public transit.

The annual Mackinac Policy Conference hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber was canceled because of the pandemic in 2020 pushed to fall in 2021. This year, it is back in its traditional spring slot.

The conference brings together decision makers to talk about the state of Michigan’s economy, from a changing workforce to how the role of a CEO has changed during the pandemic, and to discuss policy proposals.

Brian Calley, a former lieutenant governor and now the president of the Small Business Association of Michigan, said many have taken advantage of the post-pandemic economy to open a business, but said there are challenges.

“As a response to the uncertainty and the newfound understanding (that) life is short, now is the time to go out there and take a chance,” Calley said. “But there are so many different challenges that are in front of people today. There’s the rising cost environment that is hitting almost every industry and every aspect of industry, supply chain disruptions. It’s like Whac-A-Mole trying to solve the problems. As soon as you get one aspect solved, there’s another blip that comes up.”