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Friday, August 21, 2020

Feedback for Delta County Michigan Master Plan-Applying New Economic Theories

Revitalizing and rejuvenating Delta County to align and overcome new challenges presented by COVID and global influences needs new and unique ways of besting market challenges. The Master Plan offers opportunities to create a long-term approach to enhance the local economy and improve local life. I hear people complain about the Master Plan but I can't find a lot of things to argue about. Most of what it says makes sense and in turn will be helpful to the community. More activities, attracting younger people, encouraging different types of housing arrangements, enhance transportation advantages and attracting more industry into the area are all good recommendations! How this is going to occur is a whole different situation!

I can't blame them as that requires a lot of time and research. I have a few ideas based on a larger theory I'm working on that could be useful here. If its helpful that is great and if not....no worries. Yet I think that it will be helpful for framing the possibilities.  A few of the articles are below......

We can't just wish these things to happen and must create opportunities that raise budgets and encourage greater retention of a younger more educated crowd that are willing to start businesses in the area and/or work remotely. To be successful means having the will and the way. Delta county has an opportunity to draw in a more youthful generation with higher wealth in a way that increases downtown housing/condo variety, improved retail, micro-manufacturing industries, employment, recreation and entertainment. 

We can beat the global market.....

As each of the sectors develop it can strengthen the appeal and financial resources of the area that leads to growth for Delta but possibly manufacturing in other local regions. You might wonder how that is possible? That is dependent on the type of industries Delta County attracts and how we hedge our existing strengths. For example, attracting a distribution center with the areas ports, roads, rail, and airport can make a big difference for the military and manufacturing in the region alike. 

I would consider some suggestions here....

Attracting Talent While Rebuilding the Downtown, through Maximizing the Benefits of Natural Resources with Tourism Micro-Manufacturing:

We know we have great trails, hunting, fishing and much more. The post Covid world wants these things and there is no reason why we can't attract young entrepreneurs that love the outdoors but also desire to build home and hearth in our downtown area leading to greater tourism revival. Micro-manufacturing of items like snowshoes, golf clubs, polo mallets and others are often sold remotely to national/international locations but the store fronts contribute to tourism attraction. 

Consider Attracting SME Adventure-Venture Capitalism to Delta County (Escanaba & Gladstone) Through Neuroeconomics  as a method of attracting young entrepreneurs that want to build businesses and engage in the local lifestyle for retention purposes. 

We can also attract and rebuild our downtown in a way that leads to improved housing/condo options, retail store fronts, recreation and tourism. Rebuilding Escanaba's/Gladstone's Downtown by Marketing Commercial Real Estate to Entrepreneurs We will need to get "the word out" about our relatively cheap 100K or less store fronts and develop packages that help them get started. 

Developing the tourism micro-manufacturing also helps lead to a stronger export culture and transportation strengths that can be further used to grow the area. Tourist Micro-Manufacturing Can Improve Delta County's Manufacturing and Distribution Sectors

Using Existing Transportation Strengths to Attract Industry:

The report further discussed capitalizing on its infrastructure such as rail, airport, road, public transportation, deep water ports and the internet. It also indicates the need to draw in more diversified resources. Consider innovative industries and shipping infrastructure enhancements of local distribution.

When we start building multiple clusters such as trade/manufacturing training at Bay De Noc College, Distribution Shipping, Tourism, Micro-manufacturing, Resource Extraction, Regional Military, etc... we can form whole new new industries that further brand the mix of economic elements in Delta County as unique.....Multi-Clusters In Delta County Can Create New Innovative Industries

Our nation will grow and bring back high paying jobs if we have greater focus on manufacturing and exportation of products and services. There is no reason why Delta County's strategic location can be used to hedge that growth. Delta County Great Lakes Shipping Infrastructure-Opportunities for National Exports!

Attracting Investment Through Online Investor, Business and Government Virtual Community:

We won't be able to do much unless we can match local investment opportunities with potential investors that have the capital to "break out" successful businesses. An online community that provides the right kind of information investors needs and connecting them to the people who can answer their questions is important. We may also consider rewriting much of our public facing county and city websites to include information investors need. With a little marking elbow grease we can attract big investment money to the area that can help transform the lives of locals in terms of lifestyle, jobs, education, community, and health.   

We should understand what type of information and environment we need. Were doing pretty well but there are opportunities for improvement. Characteristics of Successful Venture Capitalist Investments Environments in Delta County Michigan

Investors often look for information on business owners and soft data as much as they look for financial information and hard data. Availability of Financial and Non-Financial Information Impacts Investor Interest in Delta County Michigan

If we use investment capital well we can take a number of small businesses and launch them on the global market in a way that attracts new jobs and investment in the area. We can also enhance investment in a number of budding clusters that could have post Covid market relevance. Venture Capitalism Under Utilized as a Growth Strategy for Escanaba

Our County and City administrators should think about creating an online forum they can reach out to investors and invite them to participate in lucrative development. Even if the investors don't invest they contribute to the growth and change of the area through their knowledge. Using Virtual Communities To Raise Venture Capitalism Investment in Delta County Michigan

Some Steps to Delta County Revitalization:

Here are a few ideas that might be helpful. I'm applying some of the concepts learned in the theory to Delta County Michigan. It doesn't mean all will apply but if we want to get serious about local economic growth we will need a detailed focus on how precisely to move an under-performing area with high potential to a lead market generator for its specific industry clusters. You can read more about the Theory of Transactional Cluster utilizing Schumpeterian economic principles HERE.

1. Market downtown store fronts and upstairs living spaces to young entrepreneurs with money to invest and a strong business plan related to tourism micro-manufacturing and SME development. 

2. Provide grants for buildings to improve the store fronts to increase aesthetic appeal by new entrepreneurs with start-up business investment capital. Consider putting together an entrepreneur packet with student loan forgiveness, low interest business loans, legal help, zoning contacts etc...

3. Consider a new county position that coordinates entrepreneurs and investors with focus on enhancing exportation of products/services. Enhancing exportable products/services leads to long-term job development and economic resilience. 

4. Develop an online forum for local entrepreneurs, business owners, government stakeholders and investors. Utilize these forums to gain new information/research on investment climate and connect businesses with investment capital. 

5. Rewrite county and city information to attract more investors through proper SEO and content creation. Put together marketing campaign to attract investors and potential mobile entrepreneurs. 

6. Connect with industry, state, federal and regional stakeholders to launch distribution center, enhance other clusters such as military, SME manufacturing, tourism, skills trade education, etc... to speed local innovation. 

7. Utilize budding clusters to develop new innovative industries that can create economic branding of the area. Once new industries have development enhance them to create a unique clusters tied to the area that attracts future long-term globally relevant investments.

You can contact County Administrator for questions and information. https://deltacountymi.org/master-plan/

2019 Delta County Master Plan. Delta County Michigan. Retrieved https://deltacountymi.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Delta-County-2020-Master-Plan-Draft.pdf




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