When I tell people I am an economic developer, I am often asked what that means or what do I do? Often times I use the basic definition of economic development which is "creating wealth within a community."
The LSCP provides services for entrepreneurs and businesses in all stages of their life cycle. These services are different for just about every client we deal with. It may be site location, incentives, marketing, matchmaking, exporting, financing or research to name a few. This makes the job of an economic developer exciting and never dull.
One of our goals at the LSCP is to remain engaged with businesses through all stages of their business. We want to be part of their ups and downs, playing whatever role is necessary to support their investment in our community.
A perfect example of this type of relationship is our connection with Biogenic Reagents.
The LSCP and Michigan Economic Development Corp. began working with this company a few years ago when they purchased the facility. Since that time, they have expanded twice, most recently when they announced a $31 million investment in their third reactor.
Biogenic Reagents' job creation has continued to grow starting with approximately 20 employees, adding 20 more during their first expansion and looking to do the same as this expansion takes shape.
You may be asking, "what do they produce?" Biogenic Reagents is a developer and producer of versatile, high-performance carbon products made from renewable resources. They offer less expensive, higher-performing and cleaner alternatives to traditional coal-based carbon products.
The new reactor, which is the largest of its kind in the world, converts wood to high-purity carbon products that are usedin the process of providing clean air, water and food. For example, the carbon product can be used by power plants to reduce emissions or by water treatment plants needing to purify water.
We are also very excited about a new product line Biogenic Reagents has just introduced! The new reactor will also produce a proprietary agricultural carbon soil amendment that increases crop yields, retains nutrients and reduces water requirements and runoff by capturing and holding nutrients and water in the root zone of plants.
It serves to decrease irrigation requirements while increasing crop yield. Did I mention the agriculture industry in Michigan is over $90 billion? Oh the potential for growth!
We appreciate that the Biogenic Reagents'stakeholders and team have chosen to continue to invest in Marquette County. This state of the art facility raises the visibility of our community as a great place to do business. Their global presence serves as an international marketing campaign that we could ill afford locally, which is the beauty of building a great relationship with our clients. We all win.
Biogenic Reagents is just one example of the wonderful businesses that reside in our region. I am honored to work with many of them, watching them grow and prosper. Not to mention learning about each business and their industry when we visit them.
Is your business in need of any LSCP business services? Thinking about starting a business or expanding the one you have? Things not going so well and looking for solutions? Looking for data to decide on the launch of a new product or territory? We can help.
Check out www.marquette.org or contact any of our business development team members today.
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.