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Importance of investing in Marquette County

Amy Clickner, CEO, Lake Superior Community Partnership

In several columns, I have worked to communicate the value of investing in an economic development organization (edo) in your community. It is amazing, yet not unique to the Lake Superior Community Partnership, that being able to clearly and concisely define our value proposition or our “elevator speech,” if you will, continues to be a challenge.

The ability to articulate the value becomes even more critical at this time of year when you receive an invoice for your investment, and then I would expect that you reflect on its value to your company and the community. In one of my January columns I will provide our year end data that qualifies the business development work that has been done in 2019. But what we do is so much more than numbers on a spreadsheet.

For example, one of our primary objectives here at the LSCP is business development services. The LSCP will have met with over 500 businesses in 2019. In these meetings, our business development team provides a wide variety of effective services available to anyone in Marquette County. We work to find out what your business sees as opportunities and the challenges that keep you up at night and then work to support and assist. How does the LSCP provide these low to no cost services with a professional and knowledgeable staff? It is through investments in our Economic Development Organization.

As a reminder, LSCP services are truly available to anyone across Marquette County. Whether a business is just starting up, expanding, working on succession, overcoming challenges, or taking advantage of available opportunities, we assist by taking the time to discuss your goals and connect you with the right resources. Some examples of our resources include:

¯ Site location- ZoomProspector is an online GIS-enhanced mapping technology that speeds up and simplifies the process of site selection analysis.

¯Financing- the Economic Development Corporation of Marquette County maintains a pool of revolving loan funds to assist businesses with job creation and retention.

¯ State and Federal Incentive Support Information- The LSCP Team provides information on appropriate incentive programs to support development efforts.

¯ Grant writing/research- The LSCP includes grant writing and research for our government partners with full service annual investment. Research and grant writing services can also be contracted on an hourly fee basis for organizations throughout the county.

¯ Emsi Workforce Insight – Emsi provides an aggregated report using data from over 100 million online worker profiles by job title, company, school, skill, and more. Another report determines where to target your recruiting efforts for specific occupations using alumni data and cost of living adjusted wages.

¯ Data Tools: The LSCP has many data tools designed to compile wage reports, industry projections, economic impact studies and more!

Investing in the LSCP not only means working with our team, it opens your business up to a network of professionals throughout Marquette County; providing your business a unique opportunity to build relationships and expand your marketing efforts. Are you looking for more ways to be involved with your existing partnership or become a new investor? Here are a few ideas that you may be interested in:

¯ Maybe you’re looking to do more networking within the community. Attend (or even better, host!) a Business After Hours, or get involved with one of the many LSCP committees.

¯ Does your business have a big announcement to make or need assistance with a ribbon cutting, anniversary celebration or ground breaking? The LSCP will coordinate the details such as writing a press release and promoting it on social media, all for no cost.

¯ Stay tuned to our events calendar, we post free webinars throughout the year on topics that are beneficial to you and your co-workers.

¯ Are you looking for additional ways to market your business? Consider sending an eblast or utilizing our Key to the County program.

¯ How about leadership development? Our Lake Superior Leadership Academy has served this role since 1999 and is just waiting for you to sign on.

Although I’ve mentioned how your investment can affect your business and neighboring businesses individually, I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the more macro-level effects it has on Marquette County. Your investment is helping to sustain and grow the economy in Marquette County. As this growth occurs, tax revenue is increased allowing critical services, recreation and education to be funded which ultimately makes this a great place to live.

Businesses invest in the LSCP for different reasons. Many companies benefit from working with our Business Development team and want to see those services continue for others with business development needs. Some invest in the LSCP because they see the different marketing, networking, research and advocacy benefits we can provide their business. Others just want to contribute to economic development in our region. No matter why you choose to invest, I want to thank those who continue to support Marquette County through these efforts.

Did you know for every dollar invested in the LSCP, $214 is invested in Marquette County? A return on community investment like that is worth checking into! Email Megan O’Connor at megan@marquette.org to learn more.

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.