Partnership News and Views
Quarter 3: One for record books
MARQUETTE — While small bits of color started appearing across the Upper Peninsula weeks ago, we can now officially welcome the fall season in all its glory. As we fill our time with our favorite fall activities and food – from football and color tours to apple cider, pumpkin beer, and chili – I encourage everyone to take time to appreciate everything you’ve achieved over the past several months. If you’re anything like the LSCP team, there’s a lot to reflect on.
In August, the LSCP welcomed the Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA) to Marquette County for their Annual Meeting. With over 185 economic development officials in attendance, the event broke records – the second time it has done so here in recent years. From tours of the mines and manufacturing facilities to bike rides, breweries, trivia, and more, attendees got a taste of the life we are all fortunate to experience living in this beautiful area. But it wasn’t all fun and games – there were also insightful sessions on housing, outdoor recreation, talent, small business, and legislative updates. The LSCP team played a critical role in coordinating activities alongside other local partners, including Travel Marquette, InvestUP, NMU, and CUPPAD. We can’t wait to welcome MEDA back again.
Speaking of collaboration, earlier this month the LSCP team submitted a request to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to establish the Central Upper Peninsula Small Business Support Hub. The $3.3 million request would allow the hub’s strategic partners to place additional boots-on-the-ground support to work directly with small businesses in a seven-county region over the next three years. The application was a result of significant collaboration between the LSCP and Innovate Marquette SmartZone, Accelerate UP, NMU, SBDC, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, and Sault Tribe Incorporated.
While both of these major tasks were taking place, the LSCP Marketing & Membership team continued to support businesses through our robust set of promotion, networking, and learning opportunities including several successful Business After Hours events, more than a dozen ribbon cuttings, multiple webinars, providing marketing resource packages to businesses in Gwinn to help alleviate challenges from road construction, and coordinating participation in NMU’s Fall Fest (connecting businesses and organizations to students).
The LSCP Economic Development team continued meeting with businesses via our critical retention and expansion program, providing general business support, developing the next data booklets, and preparing for the upcoming Marquette County Ambassadors trip which will happen at a crucial time with active discussions on energy, paid family leave, healthcare, and more happening in Lansing.
But we’re not done yet.
In this final week of the quarter, the LSPC will help the City of Ishpeming host its first-ever “State of the City” event. The city is experiencing positive momentum and this will be a great chance to learn more.
And on September 29, the LSCP team – in partnership with the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Chamber of Commerce – will welcome the Small Business Association of Michigan to Marquette County. LSCP and GINCC members can join us for lunch with SBAM President & CEO Brian Calley where they’ll hear about SBAM’s work and answer questions you may have. Registration is required (visit www.marquette.org, under Events).
Throughout all of this, the LSCP team is here to support businesses and communities throughout Marquette County, something we do every single day. Please be sure to reach out so we can help connect you to whatever resources and information you may need.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Christopher Germain is the Lake Superior Community Partnership’s CEO.