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News & Press: FOCUS

Small business making a big impact

Monday, May 1, 2017  
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By Tim Daman, President and CEO

Our region is fortunate to have a strong foundation for business investment and jobs creation.

Often overlooked as an engine of economic growth are small businesses. The truth is there is nothing small about the contribution small businesses make to our economy. Small businesses are responsible for 60-80 percent of the jobs created in our nation. Locally, 75 percent of the members of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce are small businesses.

You may have noticed in recent months that FOCUS has been intentional about devoting more space to small business issues with features including Focus on Small Business. This month, our entire issue is dedicated to our small business members. Our cover story looks at the impact that small businesses like Doberman Technologies and ASK are playing in the explosive growth in the region’s technology sector. We also have features on a diverse array of small businesses that are not only long-time Chamber members, but are reflective of the businesses that are growing, succeeding and investing in our region.

Our members have told us how important they feel about our role in supporting the growth of small business in our region. Responding to our recent survey, members said overwhelmingly that the number one reason they joined the Chamber was for networking and relationship building opportunities. A hot button issue members identified as a critical need was attracting and retaining talent — which continues to be a top priority for the Chamber.

Our dynamic business development team led by Kristin Beltzer, Michelle Rahl and Christine Zarkovich was recently expanded with the addition of Hanna VonAchen, who serves as our small business and member engagement coordinator. Our team makes it a priority to ensure all members, small businesses in particular, are finding tremendous value through their membership investment.

The Chamber has strengthened our numerous business networking opportunities such as our monthly Member Mixers and Lansing Economic Club. We are also featuring more professional development and education opportunities including our Business Education Series. Our new digital online directory, Lansing Marketplace, offers exciting new opportunities for members to make instant connections with potential new clients leading to business growth.

The Chamber is committed to using our role as the voice of business to continue to advocate for smart public policies, including a sound tax and regulatory climate, that will encourage small business growth.

It is important to recognize and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirt and hard work it takes to succeed in business. Starting a business and succeeding is regularly challenging, sometimes frustrating and often thankless. For those that succeed, it is also extremely rewarding. I congratulate and thank all of our small business members for the investment and contributions you are making to our region’s economic prosperity.

Click here to download the May issue of FOCUS.

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