NLEA May Newsletter
We had a busy month! Check out what we and our partners have been up to.

Download our 2018 Annual Report, view our Annual Event photos and video, read success stories, and check out news from our partners at the end of the email.

View our 2018 Annual Report

Thank you to all our  members investors , and  supporters  for being part of another successful year. The NLEA Board and staff truly appreciate your support of economic development and the wonderful businesses, entrepreneurs, community members, and leaders that make up this great area. And thank you to Mitchell Graphics for their design and printing expertise!
2019 NLEA "Project of the Year" Award presented to EJ and its new state-of-the-art foundry.
2019 NLEA "Maniac of the Year" Award presented to Marcella & John Costin - Simply Marcella/Queens Head
2019 NLEA Special Recognition - Energy Fundamentals Program
2019 NLEA Special Recognition - Shiloh Slomsky
2019 NLEA Lifetime Achievement Award
Randy Frykberg
NLEA honors economic development efforts at annual gathering

Steve Foley, Petoskey News Review

BAY HARBOR — With one of the area’s newest venues serving as the setting, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance celebrated a variety of contributions to economic development last week.
About 475 attendees were on hand Friday for the regional economic development group’s annual meeting at Great Lakes Center for the Arts in Bay Harbor.

Welding a success
The keynote speaker of the event was Tom Moran, owner of Moran Iron Works. Based in Onaway, this company has grown to also include facilities in Rogers City and Cheboygan.
Moran, a self-taught welder, entrepreneur and innovator, spoke of how he grew his business from limited means.

“We were very poor, four of us boys slept in the same bed and we lived in the basement of a house,” Moran said. “My father was a lumberjack and that taught me a lot. Lumberjacks really specialize in destroying equipment and my grandfather was constantly looking for welders.
NLEA supports LTBB/SEEDS class of 2019

Buck Love, NLEA Business Retention & Growth

On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, eight of the 12 students from the North Central Michigan College CNC Certificate of Development program received recognition for completing the course. A banquet was held at the LTBB Governmental Center to honor this achievement. This development program prepares motivated students to work in modern factories, manufacturing plants, and machine shops. In the past, workers manually controlled the heavy equipment used to cut, shape and form products from raw wood and metals. A CNC programmer/operator can now input highly detailed instructions into a computer system that guides robotic arms and tools to perform precision machining jobs.
Is your community prepared for development?

Hannah Sanderson, NLEA Business Attraction & Growth

Failure to prepare will prepare you to fail when it comes to most things in life, and in the realm of business attraction.

If you were to have a new business come to your doorstep today with a business plan in hand and a burning desire to locate there, would it be easy for them to open their doors in your community?

Does your community know the types of businesses they would like to attract? Is everyone that could possibly work with this business on the same page? When it boils down to it, is your community prepared for their desired development?
Opportunity Zones: is it the right opportunity for you?

Jessica Lovay, NLEA Office Manager/Grant Administrator

What is an Opportunity Zone?

An OZ is a Governor nominated zone—based on census tracts—that is an economically distressed community, as determined by 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. In the NLEA region, there are three zones: Mancelona, East Jordan, and Cheboygan. “The intent of opportunity zones is to connect potential investors with capital gains to re-invest with economically distressed communities who could benefit from that investment” (MSUE Opportunity Zone Training).
Northern Lakes Economic Alliance : a merging of efforts

Rick Diebold, chair of NLEA board of directors

This experiment which kicked off 35 years ago has been highly successful, and the “secret sauce” which holds it all together is embedded right in the title of the organization. I think it’s something we sometimes overlook, but it’s very important to remember; the secret ingredient is that we are an  Alliance .

What is an Alliance? It’s a merging of efforts by entities (or people) for a shared interest.  A merging of efforts.  The founders were very deliberate in their selection of that word,  alliance .

East Jordan community volunteers create a tradition
Amanda Baker, NLEA Downtown Development Coordinator

In 2016 the East Jordan Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was financially in a position to begin moving projects forward again. It had been a while since the DDA was able to do any visible projects, and they wanted to accomplish something without putting themselves back in the same financially strapped situation they had just gotten out of.

NLEA intern project takes shape

Evan Root & Madelyn Cain, NLEA Interns

Throughout the course of the summer, NLEA Interns Evan Root and Madelyn Cain will be creating marketing packages for Redevelopment Ready Sites in the NLEA service area. We are excited to collaborate with local municipalities in order to learn and identify priority sites in area communities.

We understand that each community is different and will, therefore, be looking to attract a wide variety of businesses specific to those needs. We want to work with communities in order to make sure their vision for desired development aligns with what site selectors and developers are looking for. 
Find out what our Core Partners are up to!