West End Update – City of Negaunee

West end now working closely with LSCP

Nate Heffron, city manager, city of Negaunee

NEGAUNEE — We’ve learned that positive growth often comes to fruition when people come together to solve unforeseen problems.

What happened to the Greater Ishpeming Negaunee Chamber of Commerce is unfortunate, especially since the organization was created to provide economic development support services for businesses in the west end of Marquette County.

However, what’s done is done, as the saying goes! It’s time to move on for the sake of those businesses, continuing the positive momentum of economic development happening in the west end!

To help us carry on this momentum, the Lake Superior Community Partnership, our countywide economic development organization, is working hand-in-hand with area stakeholders to tailor services from its toolbox for West End businesses. These efforts are being coordinated under a new initiative called West End Forward.

As explained by Christopher Germain, CEO of the LSCP, there are three critical components of the initiative: (1) Formation of the West End Advisory Council, (2) a dedicated strategy for on-the-ground events and services in the West End, and (3) transformation of the existing GINCC office space into the West End Economic Hub.

The advisory council will be comprised of six to eight businesses based in the area formerly covered by the GINCC. Members of this body represent a wide variety of industries, business sizes, and needs. The council will help to create a West End Strategy and, in turn, advise the LSCP on the business needs of the West End. Some examples of on-the-ground services include, Business After Hours, ribbon cuttings, educational events/workshops. The strategy could also identify needs for new products, services or events.

Lastly, and maybe one of the most exciting elements of this program, is the West End Economic Hub, which will be located in the former GINCC building on U.S. 41 West in Ishpeming. The Hub will be open part-time, staffed by the LSCP team who will hold small trainings and events and conduct one-on-one business support services. The Hub will also provide meeting and event space for LSCP’s economic development partners like Innovate Marquette, Accelerate UP, InvestUP, Northern Initiatives, and the SBDC. Together with this space and partners, the Hub will provide critical services to the West End for business growth.

I, for one, am very excited about this new opportunity. I want to encourage any and all former GINNC members and businesses on the west end to at least look into taking advantage of the new West End Forward program benefits. The LSCP is offering $100 off any level of membership for former GINCC members who choose to become an LSCP Partner before July 1. You can find out more about the West End Forward initiative and joining the LSCP at www.marquette.org/westendforward.

I truly believe coming together like this is the best chance we have in creating robust, stable, and tailored economic development services on this end of the county. I hope you will join me in supporting our friends at the LSCP as they build – in real-time – an initiative that will truly unlock the full economic potential of Marquette County’s West End.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nate Heffron is city manager of the city of Negaunee.


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