What the Partnership is and is Not

Posted by on July 5, 2017

We get many questions on what exactly the LSCP does. Do we only provide services for our partners or for the whole community? Are we a Chamber of Commerce? Are we an economic development organization? Are the services we provide free? Hopefully, I can clear up some of these questions.

The Lake Superior Community Partnership is an Accredited Economic Development Organization (one of only three in the state of Michigan). This means we have undergone the comprehensive peer-review process through the International Economic Development Council that measures economic development organizations against commonly held standards in the profession, including a documentation review and a site visit. We are membership based and offer many great marketing and networking benefits to our partners, but we also provide economic and business development services throughout Marquette County. By investing in economic development, our wonderful partners allow us to assist the community with low cost/no cost services.

Some of the services we provide for all include business expansion, site location, financing, talent development, strategic planning, business planning, budget/profit optimization, grant writing, data research, advocacy and state and federal incentive support. If you are a business that needs assistance, we can provide it-often times at no cost. Our mission is to stimulate and sustain a vibrant regional economy by facilitating growth and prosperity, and we do so by offering these types of business services.

Business retention, however, is what some may call our “bread and butter.” Are you aware that 80% of job growth in a community comes from within? That means that by spending our resources working with existing and start-up businesses, we will see more jobs created and more jobs retained than from business attraction.

Now, that is not to say we don’t engage in business attraction. We just spend less resources in that area of our economic development portfolio. We typically tap into the site selector/developer world to show off our beautiful community, keep businesses up-to-date on area happenings, promote available space and land, and encourage them to consider Marquette County for their clients who are expanding, starting up or relocating.

At the LSCP, we spend a lot of time working in legislative advocacy as well. There are many issues that affect our partners and community. Our staff stays current on what is happening-not only locally, but in Lansing and Washington D.C. as well. We have excellent relationships with our government officials and are able to call upon them when issues arise. The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance is also a great way for us to strengthen our voice in government relations. We have been a member of that group for many years and are able to accomplish more by collaborating with those who have a similar agenda.

Networking and relationship building are keys to success. In this area, we are probably best known for our Business After Hours and ribbon cutting ceremonies. Providing opportunities for networking is a large part of economic development and events and programs like Business After Hours, our Annual Dinner, Business Expo, Lake Superior Leadership Academy and Golf Outing are a great chance to learn about local businesses and network with the business community in a more casual setting. We assist ANY business (partner or not) with ribbon cutting ceremonies to celebrate a grand opening, relocation, anniversary and expansion. If you have something to celebrate, give us a call!

In addition to connecting you to other partner businesses, we are able to offer some outstanding marketing benefits. As an LSCP partner, you have your own page on the business directory that can include your logo, website, social media links, video, website, hours of operation, map to location and more. Visit our business directory at www.marquette.org (upper left hand corner) to check out all of our partners.

We are grateful to the partners who invest in our economic development mission each year. I often ask the question “whose responsibility is it to fund economic development?” and I would argue that the obligation belongs to all of us. If you are not already a partner, we hope you’ll consider joining the LSCP to help us take economic development in Marquette County to the next level! Contact us at 906-226-6591 or lscp@marquette.org.

Amy Clickner, CEO, writes a bi-weekly column for the Mining Journal.