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Lansing businesses can get assistance via economic development tools

Lansing is a thriving city, the capital of our great state of Michigan. Michigan’s central location puts it in a very strategic location for businesses to serve both Canadian and U.S. customers. Something that is helping to maintain this growth are economic development tools and other incentives that are available for help.

One of those places helping promote area growth and advancement is the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). For the past 10 years, LEAP has provided services to Lansing and other areas in Eaton, Clinton and Ingham counties. Available services include business and entrepreneurial startup programs, as well as placemaking, talent development and diversity programs.

“LEAP works to keep, grow and attract businesses,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “One of the things we have done is establish the state’s first equity investment fund called Lansing Proto. We also offer one-on-one counseling, loan and grant programs, and various training such as diversity training.”

Some of the places LEAP has worked with include: General Motors, Jackson National Life Insurance, the historic Knapp’s Centre, the Scott Gillespie buildings on Michigan Avenue, SkyVue, NioWave and others.

“We believe our region is a true, viable global economy with a global environment that can engage and compete with anyone, anywhere in the world,” said Trezise. “It has exploded in growth over the past 10 years and we are here to help both small and large businesses with any type of project by providing passionate expertise.”

Another organization helping Lansing prosper is the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), who advocates for business development, job awareness and community and talent development to help the state’s economy continue to grow. Some of MEDC’s available tools include programs like Pure Michigan Business Connect, Community Revitalization, Michigan Business Development, Community Development Block, Redevelopment Read Committees and Public Spaces Community Places. MEDC also offers businesses help via the Small Business Development Center and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center.

“Our business development managers can meet with a business to discuss in detail all the tools and services available,” said Otie McKinley, media and communications manager for MEDC.

MEDC is also active in facilitating growth in both urban and rural areas in Michigan, making them a change agent for both business and community revitalization. The goal is to build the economic landscape of Michigan project by project and from city to city, which will help position Michigan as a preeminent location for people and companies to do business.

Yet another place active in helping promote growth in the area is the Gillespie Company, a real estate development, construction services and general contracting firm headquartered in Lansing. One of their specialties is historic renovation and their goals are developing, building and maintaining properties that improve the area for residents to work and live in.

One of their major projects was the renovation of the Michigan Avenue area. They recently publicized a new plan for the 2200 block that is expected to provide the community with more vibrant areas. This and their Eastown Flats project are vital to the area’s placemaking strategy.

Late last year, the Michigan Avenue corridor road was resurfaced after a campaign by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, joined by hundreds of local business, community leaders and residents signed a letter sent to the mayor and city council explaining how badly it was needed.

State Programs Assist in Making Michigan Prosperous

State programs like the Michigan Economic Growth Authority are also helping Lansing companies via the use of Small Business Tax credits. Two Renaissance zones in Lansing allow businesses in those areas to be waived from certain tax types, like single business tax, local real property tax and utility user tax. For instance, some local property taxes can be abated up to 50 percent for a period of as long as 12 years if they fit the right criteria.

State law also lets Lansing officials to decrease personal property taxes in some areas to encourage economic development. While it doesn’t include retail businesses, it may include manufacturing, mining, research and development, wholesale and trade, and office operations.
Lansing has also benefitted from a sound economy, as statistics show that while the state average for unemployment in 2016 was about five percent, in Lansing it was only 3.8 percent.

All these different economic development tools and other programs are helping to ensure the future expansion and growth of Lansing. Working together with residents, business leaders and local government leaders, these organizations have the health and welfare of the area in their hearts and minds. These and other organizations that can be contacted to help good works continue to ensure the best future for Lansing and its residents.

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