MARQUETTE — Located in the heart of downtown Marquette, the Lake Superior Community Partnership has been in business since 1999, focusing its efforts on the economic development of Marquette County.
“Part of that is what we call ‘Life cycle Business Development,” said Caralee Swanberg, Vice President of Economic Development. “That is working with a business from the very inception of the idea all the way through startup, operations, and succession planning.”
The LSCP has a vast amount of statistics and information to help potential business owners get their idea off the ground. The most eye–popping number behind the LSCP is the number zero, meaning, that it costs absolutely nothing to get help from them.
“Our free and affordable services are because of the business community,” said LSCP CEO Amy Clickner. “Our members are investors in our organization are the ones who keep this show running from a resource base because they know it’s critical to have the services available to businesses in need.”
“If you have an idea, you shouldn’t have to pay upfront to have that idea vetted and to go through the process to see if it works,” said Swanberg. “If it does work, then you’ll see the value and then you’ll want to be a member.”
A number of Marquette County’s most well known businesses, such as Cliffs Natural Resources, U.P. Health Systems – Marquette, and RTI Surgical are all members of the LSCP. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to start a big company or a small one. The LSCP has services and resources available for all types of businesses.
“At the end of the day, the way that we describe economic development, because there is thousands of definitions for it, is generating wealth within your community,” said Clickner. “That can be startup businesses, retention, expansion, attraction– any of those things. If we’re going our job correctly and our economy is growing, we have more tax dollars, less people in need. It’s just a great cycle. It all starts with economic development.”
In part two of our series about the LSCP, we’ll take a look at how the LSCP helped an Ishpeming Brewery get up and running. That’s coming up on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. on ABC 10.