Showing posts with label Delta County Michigan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Delta County Michigan. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Using Virtual Communities To Raise Venture Capitalism Investment in Delta County Michigan

Delta County Michigan has a lot of underutilized potential and when we engage in pro-business strategies we can draw in more investment and in turn provide more jobs to our children so they don't have to move somewhere else. While I don't believe in hard and fast rules I can say that I like to look at some of the research literature in the formation of a more formal opinion to incorporate into a theory I'm working on to increase innovative growth. Investment in existing and start-up businesses is hugely important and having an online community for Delta County Investments may be one idea that works. 

Investors, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists rely on information. Building and designing websites that seek highlight local businesses looking for investment capital because of their growth potential is a viable strategy. The other method may be to create investment online forums where this information is not only present but investors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and local stakeholders may be able to interact to make investment and policy awareness. 

This is done through what is called a virtual community. It may be a discussion forum where people can post questions, ask ideas, set up plans, get information on zoning, and much more. Such an forum will help investors and venture capitalists find information on important businesses and interact with participating entrepreneurs that need access to investment and low interest loans. It also serves the secondary function of keeping local policy makers aware of what investors need and in turn investors what policy makers need. 

We can look at a study conducted on a sample of 215 members of the investment community and how online forums can help (Shang, Chen & Chen, 2013). They state, "Compared with other decisions, financial investments should be more rational, and investors need to acquire immediate and accurate information for their investments." We could provide them with that information in a way that leads to increased in active local investment.

Thus an online forum and virtual community is about information, dialogue, and development. It provides the right information at the right time for decision making purposes. They also found that members in this community had higher confidence in trading and in turn trade more frequently. More frequency means that more dollars are being spent to develop local business (i.e. could Upper Hand Brewery go national? kind of ideas).

Why do members in online investment communities trade and invest more frequently?

1. One primary reason is the availability of information and the ability to ask questions of business owners, government stakeholders and other investors. In economics investment is part of choice and based on the rational decision making when and if information is available. Thus, providing access to a Delta County investment forum community helps them gain information they need to make decisions. 

2. Putting together the business owners, city leaders (Escanaba and Gladstone) and Delta County officials in the same forum as investors increases source credibility. Investors need to perceive the information as believable, competent and trustworthy (Petty and Cacioppo, 1986). No other place to do this then to get the sources involved when investment capital is significant.

3. Third we will want to consider that highly successful investors can often create herd investing (Shang, Chen & Chen, 2013). When an venture capitalist is successful he/she will draw in other investors and they will follow that person's lead. The entire group begins to invest more and in multiple mechanisms.

So as I think through this it appears that an investment community for Delta County could be used to attract, market to and reach out to potential investors. It would also draw in local businesses that have potential growth and in turn better align government policy to the needs of the business community. I bet one could to the same for civil issues and quality of life concerns but that is a different type of venue. 

Thus far here are a few ideas that have been generated (Thinking out loud). This is theoretical play but some ideas may be good for implementation either here or other locations.
  1. Redesign sites to include information that attracts investors
  2. Develop a cluster system to enhance local industries (Focus on investors in those clusters).
  3. Create welcome packets for entrepreneurs and reach out to other locations for to help people buy local properties.
  4. Find someone to coordinate all of these activities and help businesses get through to start up
  5. Hedge our natural resources to attract tourism, investment, and tourist micro manufacturing.
  6. Utilize our deep port, rail, roads and central location to attract distribution. 
  7. A lot more Theory of Transactional Clusters

Petty, R.E. and Cacioppo, J.T. ( 1986 ),Communication and Persuasion: Central and Peripheral Routes to Attitude Change , Springer-Verlag, New York, NY .

Shang, R., Chen, Y. & Chen, C. (2013) The social and objective value of information in virtual investment communities. Bradford, (37) 4. DOI:10.1108/OIR-06-2011-0087

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Coronovirus Task Force Provides Update April 18th, 2020

There is a good point the President made as it relates to the PPP program and its potential benefits to the country. Refunding the PPP (and other) can be helpful for creating greater innovation down the road for large (large businesses often integrate successful smaller businesses) and small businesses (can grow and develop on their own) alike. One issue our nation has faced is concentration of wealth in fewer hands. Allowing for a method of encouraging smaller businesses to start and sustain operations can have multi-fold benefits such as greater economic shock absorbing, improved return to investors, re-connecting rural economies that were sidelined by globalization, zoning for future disease waves to minimize economic impact, rebranding American values to a large/poweful group of Millennials, and encouraging localized grassroots economic systems that support family incomes. It just seems like it makes sense from an economic, social, and political standpoint. There are lots detail on how that works but the big picture idea is valid.

An idea that might add to this strategy is encouragement of larger investors (or crowd investors) that angel fund promising start-up ideas (with a good business plan). Doing so in large scale hedges risks and can raise entire towns and regions in sectors that are needed. For example, in Delta County you have resource rich area with mining, lumber, tourism and potential small manufacturing capacities with sufficient railroads, airports, and ports that could lead to exportation. Actions like this lead to greater American capacity and long-term sustainability in developing a competitive stance that fosters higher paying jobs that put food on American tables.

Government (s) may also want to consider publishing business and prospect reports for investors and small businesses about opportunities in different regions. Local governments may want to create growth plans and these plans are analyzed to create state, regional and federal plans. Connecting wealthy older investors to a creative and youthful younger generation is a patriotic responsibility that better prepares the young to take the seats of the old (i.e. passing of the guard). Of course...that is dependent on how we view our personal and national responsibilities.

-Positive signs virus has passed its peak.
-We did better than anyone except maybe Germany
-Indicates we did better than most of Europe.
-A number of states will start a phased opening.
-$350 Billion for PPP program. $1.6 million small businesses.
-Should be bipartisan. Hopefully it will be open forever.
-13K medical sites are supported.
-Stronger testing than many other nations.
-We have extra ventilator capacity and can help other nations.
-9-10 platforms with testing capabilities.
-The market is improving and is rising because it has trust in our governmental system.
-There is an attempt to refund with $250 Billion.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Delta County Airport Receives $1 Million+ (Sawyer International $18 Million +) from CARES

Congressman Bergman from the 1st Congressional District announces that a number of local airports will be receiving monies through the CoronavirusAid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that provide $10 billion to support U.S. airports experiencing severe economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. The monies come from a U.S. Treasury Fund and will be used to mitigate disruption and encourage improvements.

Why is this helpful for Delta County?

Delta county is ripe for international investment and manufacturing. It is a county that has underperformed the market but has much of the needed infrastructure and "Yooper Strong" working population that could really make things happen. While this monies is for airports that experienced economic disruption it does create an opportunity to improve the airport for other purposes such as economic development. Notice in the yellow the more commercial oriented Sayer International and Escanaba Delta County are getting a pretty good chunk. Kudos for Delta and the Region!

Daily Free Press Article

Alpena County Regional APN $17,903,142
Beaver Island SJX $20,000
Cheboygan County SLH $30,000
Drummond Island DRM $20,000
Escanaba Delta County ESC $1,076,012
Grayling AAF GOV $1,000
Charlevoix Municipal CVX $30,000
Gaylord Regional GLR $30,000
Gwinn Sawyer International SAW $18,075,846
Hancock Houghton County Memorial CMX $1,098,918
Harbor Springs MGN $30,000
Iron Mountain Ford IMT $1,085,245
Ironwood Gogebic-Iron County IWD $30,000
Mackinac Island MCD $30,000
Manistee Co-Blacker MBL $30,000
Manistique Schoolcraft County ISQ $20,000
Menominee Regional MNM $30,000
Newberry Luce County ERY $20,000
Ontonagon County - Schuster Field OGM $20,000
Pellston Regional Airport of Emmet County PLN $1,104,773
Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa County International CIU $1,095,968
St. Ignace Mackinac County 83D $30,000
Traverse City Cherry Capital TVC $14,819,260
Rogers City Presque Isle County PZQ $1,000
Mio Oscoda County Dennis Kauffman Memorial 51M $20,000
Atlanta Municipal Y93 $20,000
Bellaire Antrim County ACB $30,000
Frankfort Dow Memorial Field FKS $20,000
Pointe Aux Pins Bois Blanc Island 6Y1 $20,000

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Attracting SME Adventure-Venture Capitalism to Delta County (Escanaba & Gladstone) Through Neuroeconomics

Delta County and Escanaba/Gladstone are relatively small towns nestled on the coast of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Covid-19 will eventually work its way out of the danger zone and many local businesses will be looking for ways to rejuvenate the local economy. Some may not open again so we will need new strategies to bring back jobs and further prosperity in a way that hedges the best local assets. We can continue our current slow decades long decline or we can master the Digital Economy and our natural strengths to create something new and more sustainable. That will require courage of local business owners, governments, and stakeholders. Instead of shying away from the modern world lets jump two feet forward and find a strategy that will allow our children and grand children live the lives we always intended them to.  Innovation occurs through sharing ideas so feel free to share this article with those who might have interest.
Rugged rural location with just
enough civilization for manufacturing

Small towns are not the first place you think of when considering hot Small to Midsize Enterprises (SME) manufacturing start-ups. While its not on investors lips today it very well could be in line with future changes in micro manufacturing technology and growing interest in an integrated outdoor lifestyle. Governments are at a loss on how to help rural communities find a way of attracting a younger crowd that wants to manufacture products that contribute to local economic growth. While globalization may have changed our economic system it is becoming increasingly possible to realign communities to find new value that leads to local prosperity. Delta County Michigan has an opportunity to attract SME Adventure-Venture Capitalists to its two main communities of Escanaba and Gladstone. How that happens is highly dependent on raising awareness of the communities strengths on a global scale to attract new investments in a way that creates local opportunities and jobs.

Why would anyone want to start over in the middle of "no where"(Only an expression!)? You may be surprised that there are pools of investors scouring the market to find investment opportunities that offer cheaper start-up costs while providing the outdoor lifestyle they love! The entrepreneur has woven into his(er) consciousness a risk taker and adventurer that lends itself to places with an abundance of rugged landscape. Understanding the needs of this "Granola" business group and their lifestyle interests can go a long way in attracting them to  Escanaba/Gladstone in a way that raises prosperity for multiple stakeholders (Wouldn't it be nice to have new roads, businesses and balanced budgets?). They are the type of people who will likely fit best within the local culture and offerings and provide a productive means to wealth generation.

Entrepreneurs: Is there a difference between rural and urban entrepreneurs?

Before we can discuss attracting entrepreneurs to our 906 town we should first have a basic idea of what it takes to be the type of person who empties their bank accounts, digs through their pockets, and cashes in on their 401 K to throw a "shingle up"(Hopefully, they don't have to suffer that bad! A low interest business loan from one of our fine credit unions like Delta County Credit Union might work 😱)! Entrepreneurship isn't so much a "thing" as it is a way of looking at the world to find unrealized value. It is a sort of mental state that focuses on, compares, and contrasts market differences to reveal lucrative business opportunities. We are not looking for a "thing" as much as we are looking for people with specific traits and interests.
Some of the most beautiful snowshoeing,
 hunting, and camping in the world!

Perhaps there is a difference between urban and rural investors and we might want to know what that is? Research on 926 firms indicates that there are traits that differentiate between firm founders and those who do not start firms; neither are specific to urban or rural start ups (Babb & Babb, 1992). Basically.....they don't care because its a personal preference! Our investment recruitment efforts might be better served matching investment opportunities and lifestyle into a cohesive brand that gains the most interest (Looking at more research studies would tell us that with greater surety).

Not all businesses will be successful and we may want to consider who is most likely to succeed at thriving locally (We want to limit misalignment 😬)!  According to the study of 2,777+ entrepreneurs the specific skills that lead to greater business success are a need for achievement, generalized self-efficacy, "innovativeness", stress tolerance, need for autonomy, and proactive personality (Raunch & Frese, 2006).  As we begin to shed light on what it takes to start a successful business in the area we also begin to create a general framework for the type of entrepreneurship needed.

Thus a person could be an entrepreneur and like the outdoors or might not be an outdoor enthusiast but desires to be an entrepreneur. Others may simply be an outdoor enthusiast and not care about entrepreneurship. Thus, they are not mutually exclusive categories and focus should be more on finding the highest market appeal by looking for entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasm for recruitment and long-term retention success. It may not be helpful to only look for outdoor enthusiasts unless we want to also raise awareness of the area for tourism reasons (That isn't a bad idea as a spill over strategy).

What are the Personalities and Recreational Habits of Outdoor Enthusiasts?

Outdoor enthusiasts are an adventurous group at their core. Risk taking in life also means risk taking in outdoor adventures (Lee & Tseng, 2014). People who enjoy radical outdoor sports are also risk takers in business. Think about it, you are asking them to leave behind the security of a regular pay check and their social networks to move up into the tundra and start businesses that help employ locals (...and we thought outsiders were weird! 💁💩). They need the bonus of a lifestyle they enjoy!. According to total of 843 people in the study recreationalist personalities are positively associated with things like white water rafting and thrill adventures. Being an entrepreneur is a way of living that fits well with the adrenaline that comes from risky outdoor pursuits.

At this point we are moving into something called Psychographics that helps us further break down our target market into personality types. It is these personality traits we want to narrow in on because they will most likely be attracted to and retained in the area.  

The type of activity one engages in is party of their personality make up and profile. In this particular study of N (N means Population)= 1000 with (This is the amount of participants. 1,000 is typical for large scale surveys of unknown populations) a response of around 339 participants (n=339) (Large N means total population while small n can be used as sample population). For example, National Geographic subscribers are categorized into hard and soft outdoor adventurers but both share Interests in Culture Experiences (Probably why wine bars, breweries and cultural events also make sense in such places-Upper Hand Brewery, Bonifas Art Center, Bungalow Depot, Serenity Yoga, East Ludington Art GalleryLeigh's Wine Garden,, Cat-Man-Dos and others may inadvertently contribute to a "table setting" for potential growth ) (Schneider & Vogt, 2012).  What they also found was that Need for Arousal and Need for Material Sources were predictors of hard traveler groups while Competitiveness was a predictor for soft travel groups. 

Recreational Offerings & Associated Psychographic Traits

According to the Cambridge Dictionary Psychographics is the evaluation of potential customers based on their psychological traits reflected in the AIO variables "opinions, interests, and emotions"(Cambridge Dictionary, nd,, Wells, 1975). In this case, we have an interest in entrepreneurship and an interest in outdoor recreation that can be starting points for understanding the deeper needs of our potential target population. Venture capital interest and lifestyle are the foundations of this particular strategic marketing approach that seeks to hedge tourism and manufacturing to meet global demands (i.e. create a net inflow of wealth).

There are an abundance of recreational and outdoor activities that would spark most outdoor enthusiasts. At U.P. Travel you can review many local outdoor recreational offerings, as well as other attractions, in the area. Some of the fun things offered locally are hunting, fishing, mountain biking, water sports, camping, hiking, snow shoeing, down hill and cross-country skiing, sail boating, canoeing, jet skiing, and much more. That is a lot of different activities and there are people with money that love that variety!

Adventurers who engage in hard adventures enjoy risky and sometimes thrill seeking while soft adventure people may not like all that risk and are drawn more to wide eyed aesthetic beauty (Schneider & Vogt, 2012). Both groups may love the area but engage in fundamentally different types of outdoor activities. There is a difference between those who regularly engage in "hiking" Day's Rivers Trail to take pics of wildlife and another person hiking 10 miles into national forest and repelling off a cliff face to get a once in lifetime sunset picture. We want to know what in their personalty makes them different?
Historical Mining and Lumber Industries

To strengthen our resolution we are still on the right track we will want to start breaking down activities into traits. Because personality traits lead to a decision to engage (or not) in particular activities it is important to find those traits that would seem to represent the majority of the area's investment and recreational opportunities. That specificity may guide administrators to think about the types of other local attractions that could enhance the appeal of the area to Adventure-Venture Capitalists.

"Grinding" the Data Down to Useful Coding

When we begin to break down activities into specific psychological traits we can better focus on attracting people who hold these traits to improve overall return on marketing dollars for recruitment and retention purposes. Psychographic scores are associated with anticipated participation in common activities such as beach activities, nature walking, swimming, wildlife/nature viewing, hiking, etc... (Merrit, Kline, Crawford, Viren & Dilworth, 2016). Thus, it is possible to break each activity into core traits that can be used to draw increased interest in the area based on focus.

A solid understanding of the needs of adventure-venture capitalists helps to further focus our efforts.  According to a study published in the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration matching "the psychographic categories with preferred activities is a streamlined approach to destination marketing" (p.55). When we drill down the data to its most elemental forms we can then use those for statistical purposes. Were not going into detail on data but for the purposes of this mini article I would suggest getting down at least to the activity traits that allow some meaningful comparison and conclusions.

If you want a more full accounting on local recreation check out Visit Escanaba. Its worth your time!

Soft Adventure Examples Delta County Michigan
Recreational Activity
Adventure Type Trait
Activity Trait
Competitiveness, Interest in Culture Experiences. 

Competitiveness, Interest in Culture Experiences

Competitiveness, Interest in Culture Experiences

Competitiveness, Interest in Culture Experiences

Competitiveness, Interest in Culture Experiences

Competitiveness, Interest in Culture Experiences
The biggest portions of hikers, according to Myers-Briggs Personality Type were ISFP and ESFP indicating Sensitive, Feeling and Perceiving types were dominant (Reinhold, 2005). The study also indicated that such people want easy quick access to hiking which fits into Delta County's easy trail access.
Competitiveness, Interest in Culture Experiences

Adventure tourism is “a trip that includes at least two of the following three elements: physical activity, natural environment, and cultural immersion” (UNWTO, 2014, p.12).

Hard Adventure Examples Delta County Michigan
Recreational Activity
Adventure Type Trait
Activity Trait
Need for Arousal, Need for Material Sources, Interest in Culture Experiences

Rodeos, Barrel Racing, Equestrian, Polo, etc..
Great Lakes Rodeo,  U.P. State Fair,  Escanaba Polo Mallet Company, 
Need for Arousal, Need for Material Sources, Interest in Culture Experiences

Mountain Biking, Fat Tire, etc....
Visit Escanaba Trails, Michigan Department of Recreation.
Need for Arousal, Need for Material Sources, Interest in Culture Experiences
Places of play, equipment functionality, risk taking, competitiveness, activity aesthetics (McEwan, K., Weston, N. & Gorczynski, 2018)
Need for Arousal, Need for Material Sources, Interest in Culture Experiences

Diving, Rock Climbing, Ice Climbing, and extreme sports.
Superior Ice Climbing
Need for Arousal, Need for Material Sources, Interest in Culture Experiences

Jet Skiing, Boating, Sailing, Diving and Water Sports
MISH Rentals
Need for Arousal, Need for Material Sources, Interest in Culture Experiences

There are many other sports that could be included.....
Need for Arousal, Need for Material Sources, Interest in Culture Experiences

Adventure tourism is “a trip that includes at least two of the following three elements: physical activity, natural environment, and cultural immersion” (UNWTO, 2014, p.12).

(I may at some point go through all of the major activities of the area and what personality traits they attract but its not the purpose of this analysis. We can continue to break down our personality and motivational traits further depending on available science. Cross-tabulation analysis/other may work with categorical information. Check out Visit Escanaba for a lot more information on local attributes).  

You can see from the chart above we are creating a categorical kind of data where information is placed in the closest representing category. It should be noted that when reviewing industry reports and scientific studies you will find their intent and purposes are slightly different and may contain useful and less useful information for research purposes. From the Mountain Biking example above we see information on equipment preferences and competitiveness. The equipment information is great for trying to determine what other types of businesses might be advantaged by an influx of mountain biking enthusiasts (i.e. Mr. Bike Ski & Fitness and Brampton Bike & Ski)(If you want to know more about each of the offerings in the area click the activity link. Businesses that offer these activities should develop their own activity psychographic.)

As we populate this table with available market information  it will start to shed light on our target investor's deeper psychographic motivations. It is precisely those "opinions, interests, and emotions" that will help us more accurately put out an "investment call" through marketing channels. We are trying to match our advertisement stimuli (i.e. pictures, words, locations, channels, etc...) to create a physiological response (unconscious), enhance motivation (precocious) and formal decision making (conscious) in a way that encourages people to act on pre-existing needs and hopes to seek out information for investment in the area.

You can see from the chart below we are "grinding" our target marketing into smaller psychological traits that can be used to build a more comprehensive target profile.. Each of the groupings could offer different ways to approach our target market. Cross A Group is Soft Adventures, Cross B Group is Hard Adventures and Cross A & B are both. Each may have their own analysis conducted and marketing campaigns developed. 

The Emerging Neuroscience of Marketing

What we choose to buy and where we spend our time is deeply in the crevices of our brain! Within the mind of our  Adventure-Venture Capitalists target group is the imagery data we need to build effective investment and retention strategies. The psychographic dimension becomes an important piece of an investor profile that highlights deeper motivation and characteristics. Tapping these inner characteristics through marketing leads to greater conscious focus and enhanced purchasing activity (invest, vacation, stay). Powerful advertisements can highlight the inner imagery that attracts their conscious focus and encourages them to pick up the phone, email, buy a plane ticket, or take some action to make Delta County their investment home!
Neuroscience and da Vinci

Analyzing psychographics is not science fiction but is part of a trend toward discovering in the inner recesses of our mind and out to the furthest perimeters of space.  In this case, we are tapping into ground breaking research called neuroeconomics.  Such research helps us understand that our economic world is socially constructed and a manifestation of our inner psychological needs and desires. In other words, our core deep rooted selves influence what we deem to be rational choice making that leads to economic structures and systems to fulfill those needs. You can read more on The Neurological Approach to Economics. 

According to Jonathan Cohen, co-director of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University neuro economics "tries to bridge the disciplines of neuroscience, psychology, and economics" (Cohen, 2010, para 2). This makes sense as all scientific fields have similar root assumptions that apply across our understanding of the world. He further elaborates "Psychology and economics are complementary disciplines, in many cases studying the same phenomena: decision making, value-based judgment, heuristics. One side approaches it from a phenomenological, experiment-driven perspective and the other from an abstract, theoretical perspective." (Cohen, 2010, para 2).

Lots of coast land and summer sail boat races.

Neuroscience is leading to all types of ground breaking discoveries in understanding rational thinking and consumer choice (i.e. the very root of economic assumptions). There are new companies sprouting to capitalize on psychographic marketing. For example, in an article entitled The Subconscious Implications Of Marketing companies like Neurensics, founded by Roger Dooley, engage in neuromarketing based on how the brain functions on a subconscious level. He states, "Neuromarketing is the use of brain activity technology to measure a subject’s response to specific products, packaging, advertising or other marketing elements." (Gross, 2017, para 2).

On a theoretical level almost all of our purchasing behavior starts in the subconscious. Harvard Business School Professor Dr. Gerald Zaltman believes in his book How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market that ninety-five (95%) of consumer purchases are made in the subconscious without consumer awareness (Zaltman, 2003). How our investors make decisions about where they want to invest, where they want to live and what type of activities they want to engage in. In our case, hopefully it is to come enjoy an adventure and explore possible investment opportunities because they have an urge and "call" to the area (Sounds like a process forming of inviting key investors, show them the area, micro or medium manufacturing facilities and recreational opportunities. Give them a contact to coordinate any interests). 

It is a growing trend in science oriented marketing that seeks to tap inner needs in order to find out what types of images, smells, sounds, etc... lead to a biometric responses that results in a decision to act. We can look at a study that helps us see how this might work in a laboratory. The study entitled A Consumer Neuroscience Study of Conscious and Subconscious Destination Preference is about how participants respond to tourism stimuli (i.e. Delta County Michigan)(Ramsøy & Michael & Michael, 2019). Participants were show images of travel destinations using eye-tracking and electroencephalography (EEG) brain monitoring that result in a neurometric score of emotional markers (i.e. frontal arousal) and cognitive load metrics. (Once our target market has been found we could further study the "Delta County Brand" with our core Adventure-Venture Capitalist group to better understand their unconscious associations. Dr. Zaltman's Zaltman developed the metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET) method to discover unconscious metaphors for marketing purposes (Zaltman, 2015)). 

When people respond to certain stimuli and that stimuli is directly aligned to our target market it can help attract those who have the most interest. Let us apply this to our  Adventure-Venture Capitalists example. Our investor target market responds to certain images that relate to our local investment and recreation opportunities. Our advertisement dollars improve as well as our effectiveness in attracting people that help the entire county grow through spending on local activities and starting businesses that employ local workers. Spill over effects of investment capital to needed economic components such as Bay De Noc Community College that trains skilled workers and other quality of life factors can be profound.

Lots of Intact Rail for Export Shipping
to via land, ports and
commercial air (i.e KI Sawyer).
If understanding the deep needs of Adventure-Venture Capitalists leads to better market segmentation, more wealth for the area, higher paying jobs, and more working young families moving into the area then there could be multi-fold benefits of rethinking how policy is defined. Using modern science and collecting the right kind of data can allow counties to differentiate themselves based on their natural benefits (Homberg, et. al., 2012).  Delta County Michigan has beautiful waterfront, a "home" town feel, a downtown that isn't so far gone it couldn't be returned to pristine glory, a hard charging group of "Yoopers" willing to do the heavy lifting with their skilled trade abilities, excellent ports, still functioning railroads, and lots of space for small manufacturing between Chicago, Canada and Detroit. Not to mention a city hall and local stakeholder groups who would likely welcome new investment money. You can read more about the topic in Innovative Companies Localized into Regional Hubs.

Things We should Consider:

In-Depth Investor/Customer Profile: A full profile that takes into consideration age, available investment capital, psychographic traits, etc... will help us narrow down further what type of more specific person decision makers might focus on. Look toward demographic, psychographic, income, behavioral, and geographic profiles. Forbes has a pretty solid article on Steps to Identify Your Target Market (Cohn, 2015).  It is also helpful to look at the Outdoor Industry Association and their Outdoor Economy Reports such its 887 billion market (Outdoor Industry Association, n.d.). 

Attract Business with Best Chances of Long Term Success: Not all businesses will be successful and understanding global market trends will help encourage start-ups that fit within existing (or new) industry clusters. You can read more about national globalization here. We start by enhancing existing businesses and starting new businesses where they make a bigger difference.  (The Book Review: Learning from the Masters of Venture Capital and Private Equity is helpful)

Ensure Local Culture is Ready: The local culture will have an influence on entrepreneurship and acceptance of a more international investor. New ideas, new peoples and diversity doesn't always sit well with those who have an interest in the status quo (At least from a sociological level it influences change and performance). As a business community we will need to better prepare local populations here and in other places for upcoming change (bend or break!). It is important to encourage exploration and "openness" so new comers are attracted and retained. The Creative Class has a whole different way of looking at the world! You can read more about Creative Individuals  and Innovative Capital if you are not currently aware.

People really really love local sports! That's Mo!
Educational Alignment for Competency Creation: Education should focus more on those skills that are needed to fulfill growing job sectors and using creativity of the mind to solve problems. STEM education will take greater emphasis in the future and will become increasingly part of small manufacturing and the workplace. It may be possible to align education to particular needs of the local employers, national competitiveness, and global level thinking. You can read a little more about the Escanaba Eskimos and Gladstone Braves education systems. 

A Single Contact/Gateway for Investors: Investors may have a lot of questions before they make a "big move". They want to gain information on ordinances, facilities, zoning, local skills, culture etc.... A single contact where potential investors can gain information is important for development (Information reduces risks and encourages action.) Delta County will want to ensure there is a single contact that can provide all of the resources when needed such as finding facilities, "cutting" red tape, ordinances, manufacturing sites, where to find qualified workers (i.e. Upper Peninsula Michigan Works), etc. to ensure a smooth transition.

Quality of Life: Quality of life is important to local residents. They pride themselves on their roots and their "hometown" feel. Quality of life is what makes the area attractive and local investment should consider the entire system and how it impacts people. We will want to understand the potential impact on jobs, training/education, and compensation. Few people would support investment if it came as a net detractor for the area and its people. There are ways to ensure we are staying out of "pot holes" and encouraging sound policy. You may want to read a study entitled The Failures of Economic Development Incentives for more insight on why many policies fail (Peters & Fischer, 2004).

Get Stakeholders Involved: There are a lot of stakeholders that can improve the investment climate of the area. Business committees and development authorities may consider partnering with local/state government to coordinate attraction, marketing, mentoring, and resettling new investment in the area. Entrepreneurs want to focus on developing an awesome business but often get bogged down in all the local ordinance, permits...and the other disconnected pieces to starting a business. Coordinating stakeholders together to make an environment ripe for new business investment is important for branding a lifestyle online. 

Make Sure Large Investors Are Aware of Opportunities: Large investors can make dreams a reality if they see an opportunity to create their own environment in locations like Escanaba and Gladstone. By creation I mean they can invest enough money in multiple local (and implant) businesses to encourage manufacturing and/or tourism clusters (or any other cluster their economists feel might work). It is a type of "pack" investing where money is strategically invested to foster innovation for their own markets. A little seed money to a lot of businesses can make a huge difference in investment ROI while limiting risk. For example, outdoor manufacturers that invest in a number of smaller batch manufacturers to build and test new products (i.e. tents, boats, snowshoes, mallets, etc...) before they adapt them to larger manufacturing systems elsewhere that have higher outlay costs.

"Bottom Line" and Context of Review: America needs to be more competitive and must find new ways of reaching markets that are willing to buy American Made products! Wealth must return to communities that have been supplanted by globalization that sidestepped their income generation capacities. Many redevelopment methods have failed because they didn't go deep enough into the structure of economic thinking and economic activity. This is why I like some of the research from places like Mackinac Center for Public Policy because they help us to think about ways to improve our past approaches so they have the widest impact on the whole community by considering investors, tax revenue, worker, and lifestyle advantages. It is my belief we do not shun the global world to find our nation's footing but to embrace it in a big way by becoming the most innovative, environmentally conscious, producers anywhere! Jump both feet forward into the Digital Economy and update our economic platforms so that our communities can once again feel the optimism of positive change!

If you were an investor who would you contact to explore opportunities?

That is part of the problem. 🤔 It isn't particularly clear but I can provide you with some information that might be helpful in your search. Having a single office to contact at the bottom of all advertising efforts leads to more investment interest and better efforts at economic coordination that enhances results. People need a single information contact/source that can coordinate them from the beginning to the end while maintaining contact with these start-ups to monitor growth. Feedback loops to politicians and government policy makers is essential for a dynamic adjusting strategies.

Delta County Economic Development Alliance
230 Ludington Street
Escanaba, MI 49829906-786-2192

Escanaba City Hall

Mayor Marc Tall 906-212-5450
City Hall Council Chambers
410 Ludington Street 
Escanaba, MI

Gladstone City Hall
1100 Delta Avenue
Gladstone, MI  49837
Mayor Joe Thompson 906-420-1388
City Contacts List

Delta County Chamber of Commerce
1001 North Lincoln Road
Escanaba, MI. 49829

If you can't find anyone who can help your welcome to contact me and I'll either point you in the right direction or go knock on a few doors because opportunity doesn't favor the timid! We owe it to our kids and grand kids to take initial steps.

A Few Important Links:

Visit Escanaba: Recreation and travel information.

Escanaba Downtown Authority.

Pure Michigan:

Context of Writing: This is a smaller review of a larger theory on economic clusters that may be a new way of looking at a future economic platform that blends the physical and virtual economic systems. A windfall scenario for a small town like Escanaba/Gladstone (Delta County) would be to attract large mutual fund(s) (i.e. investment funds) that want to hedge their post Covid-19 growth potential by attracting promising young entrepreneurs with great ideas and creating a pack investing scenario that leads to the development of one (or more) sustainable but modest global oriented clusters (Enhancing but maintaining the flavor of the area). That would require a "meeting of the minds" of local stakeholders and financial angel investors. It would then could become a model for other locations and possibly the nation (small and large strateies). You may review some of the messy and not yet finished Theory of Interactive Clusters for Sustainable Economic Growth HERE


Babb, E. & Babb, S. (1992). Psychological traits of rural entrepreneurs. The Journal of Socio-Economices, 21, (4).

Cohn, C. (February 6th, 2015). Steps to Identify Your Target Market. Forbes. Retrieved

Cohen, J. (2010). What is neuroeconomics? Yale Insights form Yale School of Management.

Gross, J. (Dec. 19th, 2017) The Subconscious Implications of Marketing. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved

Homburg, et. al. (2012). Marketing performance measurement systems: Does comprehensiveness really improve performance? Journal of Marketing, 76.

Lee, T. & Tseng C. (2014). How personality and risk-taking attitude affect the behavior of adventure recreationists. An International Journal of Tourism Space, Place and Environment, 17 (3).

McEwan, K., Weston, N. & Gorczynski, P. (2018). Differentiating Identities Within an Extreme Sport: A Case Study of Mountain Biking Print Advertisements. Frontiers in Psychology, 9.

Meritt,R, et. al. (2018). Vacation Activity Preferences: An Examination of Generational Differences across Psychographic Categories Employing Plog’s Model.  Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 36; pp. 55–71

Merrit, R., Kline, C., Crawford, A., Viren, P. & Dilworth, G. (2016). An exploration of recreational activities while travelling relative to psychographic tendences. Tourism Recreation Research, (41), 3

Outdoor Industry Association (n.d.) Outdoor Recreation Economy. Retrieved

Peters, A. and Fisher, P. (2004). The Failures of Economic Development Incentives. Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 70, No. 1 . Retrieved

Psychographics (n.d.) Cambridge Dictionary.

Ramsøy, Thomas Z. & Michael, Noela & Michael, Ian. (2019). A Consumer Neuroscience Study of Conscious and Subconscious Destination Preference. Scientific Reports. 9. 1-8. 10.1038/s41598-019-51567-1.

Raunch, A. & Frese, M. (2006). Let's put the person back into entrepreneurship research: A meta-analysis on the relationship between business owners' personality traits, business creation, and success. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 16 (4).

Reinhold, R. (2005). Personality Type and Outdoor Enthusiast. Superior Trails.

Schneider, P. & Vogt, C. (2012). Applying the 3M Model of Personality and Motivation to Adventure Travelers. Journal of Travel Research, 59 (3). Retrieved

Wells, William D. (May 1975). "Psychographics: A critical review". Journal of Marketing Research12: 196–213. doi:10.2307/3150443JSTOR 3150443.

Zaltman, G. (2003). How customers think: Essential insights into the mind of the market. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press.

Zaltman, O. (June 9th, 2017). Intro to ZMET. [Video File]. Retrieved