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Building a Better Chamber, Stronger Community and More Vibrant Region

2018 was an extraordinary year for our members, the Chamber and the Lansing region. It was a year filled with growth and sustained progress for Greater Lansing – powered by the vision and leadership of our business community. We look forward to extending momentum and accelerating progress and hope you will be a part of the journey to strengthen and transform our region.

As Greater Lansing’s trusted voice and business leader, we work relentlessly to help businesses connect, grow and thrive. Whether it’s representing the voice of business today or preparing those who will move the region forward tomorrow, the Chamber is providing the business leadership necessary to drive regional growth and prosperity.

We encourage all businesses to engage with the Chamber through the valuable networking, brand building, talent development, economic investment and business advocacy efforts we champion. Join us in building a better Chamber, stronger community and more vibrant region.

Building a Better Chamber

Our team works relentlessly to deliver value and provide the tools and resources to help businesses connect, grow and thrive. Whether it is making invaluable community and business connections, supporting economic development, delivering cost-saving membership benefits and professional development opportunities, or being a part of public policy discussions that impact our region, the Chamber strives to address the needs of every one of our more than 1,000 members.

The Chamber used 2018 as an opportunity to take a fresh look at our organization and our role in building a stronger region, through the development of a new strategic plan. From the beginning, our goal has been to establish a clear direction and vision for the future of the Chamber and our community. We identified four key strategies that serve as the core of our strategic plan and provides direction for the Chamber of the future.

Regional Leadership. We will continue to lead efforts that drive regional growth and economic prosperity.

Policy Influence. We serve as the voice of business on important issues and policies that impact our business community and region. We are at the table with local, state and federal officials advocating for your business so you can focus on running your business.

Business Value. To maintain and grow our membership base, we will deliver solutions, programs and opportunities that add value to all businesses in our region.

Excellent Operations. We will sustain a high-performing organization to successfully execute our mission. We will maintain a sound financial performance, strengthen the development of an incredibly dedicated staff and invest in technology.

Empowering Talent and Enhancing Opportunities

Recognizing the importance of connecting talent with our region’s employers, there is no greater economic driver for our region’s future than the need to attract and retain top talent. The importance of turning Greater Lansing into a home for the best talent in the nation is why the Chamber has placed so much effort on several talent initiatives. Now is the time to take our region’s talent to the next level.

Bridging the gap between business and education. To help solve the talent gap in Lansing, businesses are collaborating with local school districts including Lansing School District, Ingham Intermediate School District, Eaton Regional Education Service Agency and Clinton County Regional Education Service Agency. The Chamber prides itself as being a conduit for collaborative partnerships through our support of education and talent initiatives such as Teach. Talent. Thrive. (T3), Lansing Promise, Launch Michigan and others. Together, businesses and educators are creating a talent pipeline for decades to come.

Leadership Lansing. Leadership Lansing is a talent initiative developed by the Chamber to help develop and equip the next generation of community leaders. More than 130 outstanding leaders have graduated from the program since 2016. Participants engage in seven workshops over an eight-month period in which they are exposed to key institutions and leaders that are critical to our region.

ATHENA. The ATHENA Leadership Award honors individuals who strive toward the highest levels of professional accomplishment, excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community, and pave paths for women to follow. The ATHENA Leadership Award was created by former Lansing Regional Chamber president Martha Mayhood Mertz in 1982 and has since spread around the world. MSU women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant was honored as the 2018 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient. More than 6,000 awards have been presented in over 500 communities. The Chamber is a proud supporter of ATHENA International and ATHENA WIN.

ATHENAPowerLink. Since 2006, ATHENAPowerLink has helped women business owners and entrepreneurs grow their business and reach new goals through a national mentoring program, valued at $25,000, that connects selected women business owners with a skilled advisory panel. The local advisory panel, comprised of mentors best suited to the recipient’s needs, helps business owners achieve networking, capital, operational and strategic goals. The program also helps enhance leadership and management skills. Kellie Johnson, owner of Kellie’s Consignments, completed the 2018 ATHENAPowerLink program.

Celebrating 12 years of 10 Over the Next Ten. The 10 Over the Next Ten awards celebrate innovative and entrepreneurial leadership from Greater Lansing’s best and brightest young professionals. Presented in partnership with Grand River Connection for more than a decade, the annual event recognizes Greater Lansing’s top young professionals who are expected to contribute significantly to our community over the next ten years.

Lansing 5:01. The Chamber is proud to support Lansing 5:01, an initiative designed to showcase the best of Lansing. Lansing 5:01 strives to retain and attract young professionals in the Lansing region by connecting both college talent and young professionals to the community’s emerging quality of life opportunities.

Connecting Our Community

The Chamber holds more than 60 events each year that bring decision makers and business and community leaders together for networking, education and celebration. From events that feature world-renowned speakers to those that honor and recognize businesses that power our region, they’re all a part of the Chamber experience. We strive to bring you events that increase your knowledge capital, keep you connected to the community and help your organization remain competitive and relevant. We encourage all members to become actively involved to maximize their Chamber and community investment.

Elevating Your Business

At the Chamber, we offer a variety of exclusive members-only marketing opportunities to help build and elevate your brand. Branding is important for businesses of all shapes and sizes and is essential to build the credibility and visibility they need to succeed and grow. The Chamber is proud to provide our members with valuable branding, communications and marketing tools to help businesses drive awareness and engagement, grow and thrive.

Connect and engage. No other platform can help you build your brand better than social media. With nearly 16,000 followers combined on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, the Chamber’s social media platforms and content have generated millions of connections.

Entrepreneur Connect is a hit! We partnered with SPOTLIGHT media | marketing | production and the Michigan Business Rap to present Entrepreneur Connect, a radio program designed to provide resources and fresh ideas to help businesses grow. Each program is packed with expert advice and peer-to-peer insights. Entrepreneur Connect can be heard 24 hours a day, seven days a week online at businessrap.biz or download the Business Rap app on the App Store or Google Play.

Lansing Marketplace continues to grow. To better connect businesses, organizations and consumers within our community, the Chamber’s Lansing Marketplace is an online directory of businesses and organizations within the Lansing region. The interactive marketplace includes multiple advertising, branding and marketing opportunities designed to enhance visibility, increase credibility and improve exposure for businesses in our region. Visit lansingmarketplace.com to learn more.

Greater Lansing’s newsmakers. One of the premier business publications, FOCUS Magazine is the monthly publication of the Chamber. Each issue is packed with the latest business and community news and valuable content for businesses, entrepreneurs, professionals and decision makers. All published issues of FOCUS can be found online at lansingchamber.org.

Advocating for Your Business

No mid-Michigan business stands alone when you’re a member of the Chamber. Located in the heart of the Capital City, our members and the business community play an important role in shaping our region and state. We are catalysts for change, uniting business leaders to do collectively what cannot be done individually. Through building and strengthening key relationships with policymakers, we are able to influence decisions by creating and executing a policy agenda based on our guiding principles. We keep members informed on relevant issues, provide networking opportunities with your elected officials and monitor local, state and federal legislation that impacts your business.

Our government relations division serves as your voice and works diligently to promote policies that:

Operational Excellence


Building a Stronger Region Together

The Chamber worked with business leaders, community members and public officials from every level of government to collaboratively influence and support initiatives, legislation and regional investment in 2018 — creating positive change and strengthening the Lansing region.

In 2018, the Chamber celebrated a 87.5% success rate on our policy agenda including:

  • Coleman Road funding. Secured $7.6 million to extend Coleman Road in order to ease traffic on Lake Lansing Road and create new economic development opportunities and job creation.
  • Heritage Hall funding. Secured $40 million to add a new welcome center to the Michigan State Capitol, serving as an educational resource for Michiganders and visitors.
  • 50-50 Rule repeal. Removed a law that could potentially increase the costs of food or alcohol to consumers and could no longer be accurately monitored and audited in the City of East Lansing.
  • Broadband access expansion (small cell bills). Eased the shift to 5G Internet, giving urban and rural communities access to broadband internet, which is necessary in today’s technology-driven world.
  • Ingham County, East Lansing and Lansing court consolidation (House Bill 6344). Promoted regional collaboration and provided significant savings for the region.
  • American Airline LAN to DCA. Extended nonstop flights from Lansing to Washington D.C. which will continue to support the region’s development, growth and quality of life.
  • The Hub. A 10-story mixed-use development in downtown East Lansing.
  • Center City District. $125 million multi-generational mixed-use development transforming East Lansing’s skyline and downtown living.
  • Elevation. $70 million residential development in Meridian Township.

Investing in the Success of the Region

As the voice of business in Greater Lansing, we serve our region’s businesses and advocate for the success of each and every one of our more than 1,000 members. Recognizing the importance of this mission, a number of our members have joined with us to create the Lansing Regional Chamber Leadership Circle. The goals of this group are to more effectively leverage the economic significance of our Leadership Circle members to build a stronger region and assist the Chamber in its role in advocating for a more prosperous business community.

Helping Businesses Navigate the Government Landscape

The Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) of Michigan are nonprofit organizations funded by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and local funding partners. The mission of the PTACs of Michigan is to enhance national defense and economic development of the State of Michigan by assisting Michigan businesses in obtaining and performing on federal, state and local government contracts.

PTAC of South Central Michigan, housed at The Enterprise Group of Jackson and a satellite office within the Chamber, recorded another impactful year in 2018. Covering Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton (as well as Jackson, Hillsdale, Lenawee) counties, PTAC helped local tri-County businesses secure 3,209 awards, totaling $98,582,393, that resulted in the creation or retention of 1,972 jobs.

Thank You to Our Partners
 
We value the commitment and efforts of our supporters to strengthen our region and appreciate the important role they play in advancing our organization.

Regional Excellence and Accolades

  • #1 best most affordable places to live (2018)
    Source: Livability
  • #4 Most Popular Cities for Millennial Homebuyers (2018)
    Source: LendingTree
  • #13 Best College Towns & Cities in America (2018)
    Source: WalletHub
  • #27 2018 Best & Worst States for Business (2018)
    Source: Chief Executive Magazine
  • #50 125 Best Places to Live in the USA (2018)
    Source: U.S. News & World Report
  • #1 in U.S. for mobile network performance (2017)
    Source: Root Metrics
  • 14th most educated community in America (2017)
    Source: WalletHub
  • Four consecutive years of population growth in the urban core of the city of Lansing
    Source: LEAP
  • 10 MSU graduate programs in top 10 in U.S. (2018)
    Source: U.S. News & World Report
  • Lansing Community College Ranked #1 in Michigan (2016)
    Source: Schools.com
  • Midwest hub for Fortune 500 companies and insurance company’s national headquarters
    • Auto-Owners #375 on Fortune 500
    • Jackson National #364 Forbes America’s Best Employers

Click here to download the 2018 Annual Report.

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