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Partnership News and Views: Entering a new phase in the U.P.

AMY CLICKNER

We have made it to Phase 5 of the Michigan Safe Start Plan! It has certainly been a long three months for everyone, learning to adjust to what comes next. The virus certainly left no one immune to the effects. Whether you or someone you know has had the virus; you have been on the frontlines in healthcare or the service industry; have children who no longer could go to school; you’re someone who has lost their job; or a business that was forced to close, this is just the short list of the virus’s impacts that have touched us in so many ways.

I am impressed, but not surprised, that the Upper Peninsula responded so well to the opportunity to open ahead of the rest of the state. We nailed it, folks! We set a great example of how we could reopen safely for the businesses, the employees, the customers and the community.

Today, the sun is shining in the Upper Peninsula and we are working our way through to whatever the new “normal” will be, so embrace every lesson you have learned during this time and incorporate the good ones in your life moving forward.

Understandably, because I work with businesses, that is where my focus has been during this time. The team at the LSCP, who I am so grateful for, didn’t lose a beat when forced to work remotely and still met the increased demand for services. Can you believe that we have served over 700 businesses through May of this year? Annually we are usually at the 500+ mark! Here are some of the highlights of our efforts to make a difference in the region:

≤ 700+ businesses served

≤ COVID-19 resource webpage developed (traffic up 51%)

≤ Educational webinars on new programs, policies and regulations

≤ Crisis Checklist, Resiliency, Hibernation, Re-open Preparedness and Restart Toolkits developed

≤ Strategic partnership with Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) provides duel membership for LSCP investors

≤ #KeepUPWorking campaign with workforce development and talent partners

≤ Increased communication to create awareness of resources and programming

Of course, there is also the launch of “Love on Local”, our new gift card program that can support our locally owned businesses with a simple swipe! The underwriters, Eagle Mine, Enbridge, mBank and Range Bank and Program Partners, Greater Ishpeming Negaunee Chamber of Commerce, Café Bodega, and the Marquette Downtown Development Authority have helped jump start this effort, making it easy for you to join in. To purchase Love on Local gift cards visit loveonlocal.com. For businesses, to receive your free marketing toolkit just reach out to loveonlocal@marquette.org.

Please remember if you are business out there, or want to be a business owner, we are here for you. Check out all the latest on our website marquette.org for more details.

Don’t forget to get out there and support your local businesses. Whether you are ready to dine-in or prefer the curbside or delivery options, it’s your choice how to “Love on Local”!

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.

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