LSCP, county has come long way in 20 years

Amy Clickner

Well it’s that time of year again for us to release our 2017 year-end results! We did so in style on the campus of Northern Michigan University last Wednesday.

Celebrating 20 years as an organization made this year’s event extra special and gave me a chance to compare where we started to where we are today. I started with a few comparisons between 1998 and today. Check this out:


– K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base closed

– LSCP Formed

– Gal. of gas $1.06

– Gal. of milk $3.16

– New car $17,200

– Postage stamp $.32

– President Bill Clinton

– Super Bowl Champions Denver Broncos


– K.I. Sawyer is now home to ~40 businesses

– Gal. of gas $2.69

– Gal. of milk $3.50

– New car $36,113

– Postage stamp $.47

– President Donald Trump

– Super Bowl Champions Philadelphia Eagles

But more importantly, I was able to share what the Lake Superior Community Partnership accomplished in 2017. No, we don’t do this by ourselves, we do this with the extensive network of partners and stakeholders across the region, working together in economic development.

Last year, our economic development team was able to work with 422 clients. These businesses ranged from all stages and sectors with the majority falling into the category of “retention and expansion.” As I have said many times before, 80 percent of a community’s growth comes from within, so, therefore, we spend a large part of our time and resources working with existing companies and start-ups.

Speaking of existing companies, our Plus One program entered its 11th year, and we were proud to recognize 58 companies who created 211 jobs in the last year. Just to remind you, the Plus One program celebrates companies in our community that add even a single job to their payroll. Whether it’s one, four, five, seven or more, the companies doing the hiring need to be recognized for their commitment and investment in our community. After all, small business is the heart of a community and collectively they hire an incredible number of employees each year.

As we look back over the last 20 years, the LSCP has come a long way. Originally, we tried to be everything to everybody. That made it difficult to be successful at anything. We soon learned that economic development was our niche, our expertise, so we began to focus 100 percent of our time and resources to doing the best we can in that space. Since that time, we are proud to have served over 3,000 clients from all sectors and stages of development — 3,000 … that’s a big number!

Last Tuesday evening we were honored to sign our 20th contract with Marquette County to provide economic development services for the entire county, continuing the private-public partnership that forms the foundations of the LSCP.

To see all of our year-end accomplishments, including government relations, marketing and networking, talent development and a more detailed breakdown of our business development activities, go to and view our annual report.

Thank you to everyone who has played a role in the LSCP and economic development over the last 20 years. Together we have made a difference in our region.

Editor’s NOTE: Amy Clickner is CEO of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. Her twice-monthly column will address topics of interest to the local business community.