Category Archives: Chamber News

February 2018 E-news

 

Click here to view February 2018 E-news

 

Home Show Features 50+ Local Exhibitors, Seminars, and Latest Trends

As more people move to the Muskegon Lakeshore, the need for local contractors is growing. The upcoming Muskegon Home, Garden, and DIY Show will feature over 50 local businesses including everything from windows, siding, gutters, and painting to home décor, furniture, landscaping and much more! The Muskegon Home Show is taking place at Fricano Place Event Center on March 9 and 10.

 

“We’re happy that this show keeps on growing and are thrilled to support so many locally owned businesses,” says Carla Flanders, Show Director. “If you are new to Muskegon or need home renovations, you will be able to connect with a variety of exhibitors at this year’s show.”

 

Back by popular demand, the hands-on “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) and Educational seminars will feature floral presenter Skeeter Parkhouse of Wasserman’s Flowers & Gifts, downtown living, home financing and much more!

 

A few highlights of the show include; décor space by Blended Furniture,  garage door solutions by Shepherd Shoreline, offerings from Family Farm & Home, remodeling solutions from Keene Lumber and plumbing assistance from A Cap Plumbing.  Plus, green spaces by Mike Rose Landscaping and Double L Enterprises.

In addition to exhibitors and seminars, the home show provides thousands of dollars in prizes, and discounted Fricano’s Pizza with the purchase of a $5 home show admission ticket! Kids 12 and under are free. Tickets are available online at MuskegonHGS.com. Advance tickets are recommended. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

 

The Muskegon Home, Garden + DIY event is a production of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce with support from the Lakeshore Home Builders Association, Fricano Place, Shepherd Shoreline, Family Farm & Home, Keene Lumber, A Cap Plumbing, Staples, Wasserman’s Flowers and Gifts, and Blended Furniture Market. For sponsorships or additional information about the show, contact Carla Flanders at 231.722.3751 or cflanders@muskegon.org

2017 Newsmaker of the Year!

Muskegon, MI – Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, accepted the Grand Rapids Business Journal 2017 Newsmaker of the Year award this morning at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. This award recognized Muskegon’s redevelopment over the year which includes over $1 billion in investments.

 

Over 600 West Michigan business and community leaders were on hand to witness the award recognition. “It is great to see Muskegon being recognized for its economic success,” says Larsen. “The Watch Muskegon campaign was launched at the perfect time to capture the amazing story of Muskegon’s evolution.”

 

The community engagement strategy formulated by the Watch Muskegon Campaign has tapped the energy of over 100 community stakeholders and thousands of area residents. “From large businesses and small business start-ups to investments by education and government, Muskegon’s resurgence is now unstoppable,” according to the Chamber President.

 

Also recognized at this event was GE Aviation/Norton Shores facility. They are one of many growing manufacturing companies located along the Muskegon Lakeshore.

 

In addition to winning the 2017 Newsmaker of the Year award, Larsen and the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber won the Newsmaker award in the economic development category.

 

Each year, Grand Rapids Business Journal reporters and editors meet to discuss nominees for the upcoming Newsmaker of the Year honors.  This year, more than 225 choices were considered before determining the top three nominees in 16 different categories. The top selection from each category was recognized with an industry Newsmaker award, and the 2017 Newsmaker of the Year was selected from among the winners of those 16 categories. The top Newsmaker in each category and the overall Newsmaker of the Year were announced during the event.

 

 

Economic Forecast is Bright for Muskegon County!

Muskegon, MI – If you liked the growth and prosperity in Muskegon County in 2017, you’re going to love 2018. That was the message of economist, Dr. Paul Isely, in his annual economic forecast delivered this morning at the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce’s Business for Breakfast, a sold-out gathering of 400 local business leaders.

 

While 2017 was a strong year for Muskegon’s business community, 2018 predictions indicate continued upward momentum. “Everything points to 2018 being a nice and smooth year for the business community,” says Isely, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the Seidman School of Business at Grand Valley State University. Isely and his team gathered data on a local, regional, and national basis to determine what the economic future of Muskegon County looks like.

 

For Muskegon County, Isely projects an upswing in sales growth. “We are seeing an acceleration in Muskegon that we aren’t seeing in other places when it comes to new business developments and employment,” says Isely.

 

The percentage of job growth predicted for Muskegon County in 2018 is expected to outpace the rest of West Michigan. And while young workers are the slowest age group to grow, more millennials are moving to Muskegon versus those leaving. However, the lack of workers will remain a challenge for business owners. 2018 will be the year where businesses will build more with fewer workers.

 

In addition, the housing prices throughout the nation are expected to increase. Muskegon County, as a whole, is expected to sustain an affordable housing market in comparison to the West Michigan region. Looking 18 to 24 months into the future, there is a good possibility for a recession to take place. While this could affect local businesses, Isely is confident that West Michigan, especially Muskegon, will not feel a significant impact predicting the coming downfalls to be shallow and not felt by most Muskegon industry sectors.

 

Overall, this year is anticipated to be a good year for Muskegon. It will be important for the business community to keep an eye on several issues, including the new tax law, potential inflation, and oil prices.
Dr. Isely holds his Ph.D. and M.S. in Economics from Purdue University and a dual B.S. in Physics and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 

Click here to view Isely’s presentation.

 

About the Chamber
The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is the premier business membership organization on the lakeshore representing over 1,200 businesses and organizations. The Muskegon Chamber represents businesses of every size and type all over West Michigan. The Chamber is celebrating 125 years in operation working to sustain an environment for business success through community leadership, promotion, inclusive business advocacy and valued member services. The Muskegon Chamber is an award-winning Chamber, being named Chamber of the Year for the State of Michigan in 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2015 by the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals.

Muskegon chamber’s 125 years full of community-shaping projects

Workforce Shortage is the Top Concern!

If you are looking for work, look no further than Muskegon County! Finding and recruiting workers is the number one concern of area businesses according to Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce members. Each year, the chamber surveys local businesses to find out how to make Muskegon County the best place to live, work, and play.  At the end of 2017, 68% percent of the businesses surveyed stated that the workforce shortage was the number one concern.

 

“It is great to have a strong economy, yet now we must work to develop local talent and recruit new talent to the community,” says Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “This means supporting effective workforce training programs like skilled training funds,” says Larsen. Last year, over $700,000 in state training funds was distributed to local businesses according to records from Muskegon Area First, Muskegon County’s economic development agency.

 

Also important to the business community is infrastructure improvement for roads, waterfront development and the port development. At the same time, more public transportation opportunities including walkable/bikeable pathways rated high on the chamber survey list.

 

Over 150 businesses responded to the annual survey which is used to determine the chamber advocacy agenda for the following year. The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce will now promote these issues to local and state elected officials for their consideration when determining community needs. Activities that support business and education partnerships will be a high priority in 2018 as well.

 

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is celebrating 125 years as the area’s premier business organization. Click here for further survey results.

 

About the Chamber

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is the premier business membership organization on the lakeshore representing over 1,200 businesses and organizations. The Muskegon Chamber represents businesses of every size and type all over West Michigan. The Chamber is celebrating 125 years in operation working to sustain an environment for business success through community leadership, promotion, inclusive business advocacy and valued member services. The Muskegon Chamber is a four-time award winning Chamber, being named Chamber of the Year for the State of Michigan in 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2015 by the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals.

 

 

January 2018 E-news

Click here to view January 2018 E-news.

 

Chamber named 2017 Newsmaker of the Year

Business Journal names Newsmaker nominees

December 18, 2017

West Michigan may be battling a talent shortage, but it’s not at the upper levels.

When Grand Rapids Business Journal reporters and editors met to discuss nominees for the 2017 Newsmaker of the Year honors, more than 225 choices were considered before settling on the top three nominees in each of the following 16 categories: Arts & Entertainment, Beverages, Economic Development, Education, Finance, Food, Health Care, Law, Manufacturing, Nonprofits/Philanthropy, Real Estate/Construction, Retail, Sports, Startups, Sustainability and Technology.

Last year, Adam Kramer, executive vice president of strategy for Switch, the massive technology firm and data center currently making its home in the former Steelcase Pyramid building in Gaines Township south of Grand Rapids, was the overall winner.

Most of the nominees are familiar to West Michigan residents, especially those who read the Business Journal on a consistent basis, because they are the people who shaped local news in 2017.

The Business Journal will honor West Michigan’s top decision makers on Wednesday, Jan. 31, at its annual Newsmakers of the Year breakfast at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. Tickets for the event, which begins at 7:30 a.m., are available online.

The top selection from each category will be recognized with an industry Newsmaker award, and a Newsmaker of the Year will be selected from among the winners of those 16 categories.

The top Newsmaker in each category and the overall Newsmaker of the Year will be announced during the event.

A printed supplement profiling the nominees in each category will be included in the Jan. 29, 2018 issue of the Grand Rapids Business Journal.

For now, though, here is the first look at the finalists in each of the categories for Grand Rapids Business Journal 2017 Newsmaker of the Year.

2017 Newsmaker of the Year finalists

Arts & Entertainment

David Hooker, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Rich MacKeigan, SMG

Scott Sprague, Gun Lake Casino

Beverages

Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens, Founders Brewing Co.

Daryn Kuipers, Boxed Water

Jon O’Connor and Kyle Van Strien, Long Road Distillers

Economic Development

Dick DeVos, Grand Action

James Gill, Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Cindy Larsen, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce

Education

Betsy DeVos, U.S. Department of Education

Thomas Haas, Grand Valley State University

Kevin Quinn, Aquinas College

Finance

Stephen Duarte, Kent County

Sandra Jelinski, Lake Michigan Credit Union

David Quade, Horizon Bank

Food

Steve Cooper, Continental Dairy

Herb Herbruck, Herbruck’s Poultry

Rich Wolowski, Gordon Food Service

Health Care

Norman Beauchamp Jr., MSU Grand Rapids Research Center

Mark Eastburg, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services

Kevin Lobo, Stryker Corp.

Law

Matt Fenske, Ottawa County

Kevin Lobo, Stryker Corp.

James Saalfeld, Kent County

Manufacturing

Marc Bitzer, Whirlpool Corp.

James Keane, Steelcase Inc.

Kevin Prindable, GE Aviation

Nonprofits/Philanthropy

Jon Ippel, Amplify GR

Scott Jonkhoff, Next Step

Ryan VerWys, Inner City Christian Federation

Real Estate/Construction

Adam Kramer, Switch

Mike VanGessel, Rockford Construction

John Wheeler, Orion Construction

Retail

Hank Meijer, Meijer Inc.

Phil Russo, Russo’s International Market

Robert Schermer Jr., Meritage Hospitality Group

Sports

Dan DeVos, Grand Rapids Griffins

Mike Guswiler, West Michigan Sports Commission

Steve Jbara, Grand Rapids Drive

Startups

Bob Baltera, Cirius Therapeutics

Julie Burrell, Pumpndo

Feliciano Paredes, AgHelp

Sustainability

Dave Koster, Holland Energy Plant

Jason Meyer, Blandford Nature Center

Mike VanGessel, Circuit West

Technology

Dan Irvin, 123Net

John Keller, Metro Health-University of Michigan Health

David Van Andel, Van Andel Research Institute

Lakeshore Art Festival Named Favorite Small Town Art Fair Second Year in a Row

CONTACT: CARLA FLANDERS
LAKESHORE ART FESTIVAL DIRECTOR
PHONE: 231-724-3176
cflanders@muskegon.org

 

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2017

 

MUSKEGON, MI –  The Lakeshore Art Festival continues to raise the bar for fine art and craft events in Michigan. For the second year in a row, the festival was ranked one of the Favorite Small Town Art Fairs by ArtFairCalendar.com. The website ranked festivals based on a survey taken by thousands of art festival attendees.

 

“I was incredibly excited to hear we made the list again this year,” said Lakeshore Art Festival Director, Carla Flanders. “The Lakeshore Art Festival continues to lead the way in attendance, sustainability, and interactive art. I am thrilled to be part of the great team that makes everything happen.” The art festival has also been recognized as #1 in the state of Michigan for Classic & Contemporary Craft Shows and ranked #27 in the nation by the Sunshine Artist Magazine which is known for high-quality content for the fine art and craft industry.

 

The ArtFairCalendar.com rankings are obtained via ballots from art fair attendees across the country. Voters are asked to choose their favorite art fairs and shows in the country as well as in categories, such as Favorite Small Town Art Fair. They

were also asked questions about their attendance preferences, festival buying habits, favorite artists and more.

 

“The recent recognition is bringing positive attention to the Lakeshore Art Festival and Muskegon both locally and nationally,” commented Flanders. “We are incredibly proud of all the work going into this festival, and the artists who play such a big role in this artful event.”

 

Fine artists and hand crafters can register now for the Lakeshore Art Festival, July 6 & 7, at lakeshoreartfestival.org. Deadline is February 1, 2018.

 

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About the Chamber

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is the premier business membership organization on the lakeshore representing approximately 1,200 businesses and organizations. The Muskegon Chamber represents businesses of every size and type all over West Michigan. The Chamber is celebrating 120 years in operation working to sustain an environment for business success through community leadership, promotion, inclusive business advocacy and valued member services. The Muskegon Chamber is a three-time award-winning Chamber, being named Chamber of the Year for the State of Michigan in 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2015 by the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals.

 

December 2017 E-news

Click here to view December 2017 E-news.

 

Other ways to get involved

Volunteer for the Lakeshore Art Festival

A unique blend of arts, crafts, music, food and fun along the shoreline in historic Downtown Muskegon. More than 300 artists and crafters will be showcased with fine art in the park, crafts, children’s activities and Michigan food market – all wrapped up in a huge downtown street party atmosphere!   Come out and join us on July 6th,  and July 7th, 2018.

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Join Watch Muskegon

Muskegon has more to offer than ever before. Join the conversation, movement and Watch Us Go!

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