June Newsletter

Happy summer from the NLEA staff!!

Leading a small business is tough. But you don't have to go it alone.

By working together with other business leaders, you can combine your voices to 
create a thriving economic environment for Michigan's small business community.

Take five minutes to fill out this survey and be entered into a drawing of great travel escapes here in MI and beyond. Sponsored by Treetops Resort and Fly Lansing.
Broadband makes bigger Strides
Buck Love, Business Retention & Growth
Efforts to formalize the NLEA Broadband Consortium took a step forward following a June 4 th  meeting of the Emmet, Antrim, Cheboygan and Charlevoix County Commissioners that sit on the NLEA Board and their County Administrators. Information to assist in the drafting of legal By-Laws and Agreements was reviewed in preparation for draft documents to be completed by the Clark Hill Law Firm in Troy, Michigan. The drafts will then be reviewed by the NLEA Executive Committee to make recommendations prior to the July 19 th  Board Meeting.
NLEA Business Retention scores 80 Jobs for Emmet County/Region
Andy Hayes, NLEA President

It’s tough doing business in a rural area far from the marketplace; keeping jobs in our area is a big part of what the NLEA’s economic development program is all about. Think about it… for every job lost, we have to attract 2 new jobs to show growth.

The NLEA board and staff know that the fundamental building block of an economic development program is solid tax base and jobs for residents. Companies create the tax base that fuels government operations and services for area residents. Employees make our communities the vibrant places we all want by creating economic spinoff from wages, sending their kids to local schools, volunteering in our community organizations, etc. 
Entrepreneurial Toolkit: Vision to Reality
Andy Atkinson and Isabel Hess, NLEA Summer Interns
Over the last few weeks we have begun to see our vision for our entrepreneurial toolkit turn into a reality. We have met with numerous professionals and experts serving Northern Michigan who are helping craft a toolkit specific to Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet Counties.

As we gather more information, the data is compiled into seven subsections to help local entrepreneurs begin their journey of starting a new enterprise. These subsections were determined by our research and communication with local, entrepreneurial mentors and counselors. Only information that pertains to our four local counties will be included.

Don't take our word for it! Using customer feedback to your advantage
Carly Thompson Administrative/Communications Assistant
When you are deciding on a product to purchase, what is your first step? Most consumers will search multiple product reviews to compare prices and features, and read customers’ first-hand experience. Before you spend money, you want to be sure the product is worth it.

Whether you’re in sales or providing a service, utilizing customer feedback exposes your blind-spots, establishes trust, and encourages potential customers to take action. As the marketing gurus at  Hubspot   say it, “If we don’t know what’s right, we can’t do more of it. If we don’t know what’s wrong, we can’t do less of it. Without customer feedback, we are destined to fail.”
The Art of Facilitation
Amanda Baker, Downtown Development Coordinator
River Street in Elk Rapids features an inviting array of floral displays for the summer.

When it comes to building up a downtown district, there is an endless list of projects to work on and new ones that can be started. It can quickly become overwhelming for a district manager or board. One good way to manage your time is to facilitate and delegate a project, then let it take off as it will.
5 Reasons You Should be Writing Press Releases
Janet Koch, Community Development

Every organization—village governments, large manufacturers, county governments, small retail shops, and everything in between—has the ability to reap tremendous benefits from press releases. Writing a press release is not the easiest thing to do, but it’s not rocket science, either. With a little help from our friend Google, you can find great advice on what to include—and not include—in a press release.

Need examples? Here are guidelines for writing a press release when you make  a new hire about an upcoming event , for the  launch of a new website , and even for  announcing bad news .
Construction Year One Down, One more to Go
Jessica Lovay, Office Manager/Grant Administrator

Four downtown Elk Rapids buildings are under construction receiving face-lifts with owner investments and matching grants.

Last year at this time we announced that the Village of Elk Rapids had been working with owners of four downtown buildings, and representatives from NLEA and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on successfully completing all the necessary applications and steps to receive a Community Development Block Grant.The $213,340 in grant funds is assisting in renovating the historic properties to remove instances of blight such as, repairing brick and replacing siding, and installing new exterior doors and windows. These activities are being matched with $213,340 in private funding to complete activities including new awnings, interior renovations, and new roofs.
FREE Data Diamond in the Rough
Hannah Sanderson, Business Attraction & Growth

Have you ever needed to look up demographic data for a specific area and began with the ol’ Google Search? We are all guilty of it. Today I have for you a credible source to find a wealth of data pertaining to a specific location of your choice in Michigan. 

Zoom Prospector is a tool from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation   that is used as their real estate database. On this site you can find various buildings and land that are either for sale or for lease, however what isn’t widely known is the fact that it’s also a large demographic database. And the best part about Zoom Prospector is that it’s all FREE!