Infrastructure: A Critical Piece of the Puzzle

Congratulations to this year’s Greater Lansing Entrepreneurial Award recipients! Going into business is no easy task, and success is hard to achieve. Kudos on being recognized for your challenging work and accomplishments. 

In the Greater Lansing region, the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) and Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) continue to collaborate to create an environment where entrepreneurs and businesses can thrive.

The Chamber is proud to support entrepreneurs and new businesses through a variety of member benefits: Connecting and networking with fellow business owners at LRCC events; savings through the exclusive Member Benefit Programs; providing online B2B and B2C opportunities through the Lansing Marketplace; public policy support and guidance; and the Chamber University business education series, which tackles important business topics including cybersecurity, overtime rules, tax reform, social media marketing and creating a positive organizational culture, along with other issues facing today’s business owners. To learn more about member opportunities and benefits, visit lansingchamber.org.

Our partners at LEAP are a valuable resource for entrepreneurs, helping early startups with business support and working to attract new businesses to the region. LEAP recently announced a new initiative, Fund Lansing, which uses the crowd-funding platform Kiva to leverage private loans and crowdfunding, and invests in our region’s entrepreneurial efforts. To learn more on this opportunity, visit purelansing.com/Fund-Lansing.

While it is important to create a positive ecosystem that will retain future entrepreneurs, allow current businesses to thrive and attract new businesses to the region, having the right infrastructure is a critical piece of the puzzle. Infrastructure, including roads and sidewalks, plays a significant role in attracting and retaining future talent — in the form of entrepreneurs and new businesses. 

Everyone in Michigan is aware that our roads, sidewalks and bridges are in desperate need of repair and require long-term investment. As the LRCC government relations team researched road funding for our region (Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties), it was discovered that Greater Lansing has been severely underfunded compared to other regions in the state. According to the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit TRIP, the tri-county region has $483 million in road projects that lack adequate funding. 

The lack of road and infrastructure investment will limit our ability to enhance economic development opportunities and quality of life throughout our region. In response to this report, the Capitol Council of Governments (CAPCOG) — which consists of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham County Board of Commissioners, the Chamber and Michigan State University — has made it a priority to unite our region and focus efforts on working together to address challenges. One of the areas that CAPCOG will focus on is advocating for equitable state funding for roads and infrastructure for our region at the State Legislature. 

For our region to be successful, we must continue to work across geographic and political boundary lines because collaboration is no longer optional; it is essential to our region’s growth. 

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