Rural Business & Community Development
Work on a regional level to create, support, and promote programs and incentives
compatible with rural and small metro areas.
• Support Downtown Development Authorities (DDAs) and Tax Increment
• Support solutions for long-term environmental cleanup and redevelopment.
• Initiate policy or legislative change to make MEDC business development
programs more scalable to fit rural and small business needs.
• Support regulatory changes and partnerships that incentivize affordable
high-speed internet access in rural areas.
Access to Child Care
Access to quality and affordable child care is becoming a challenge for attracting and retaining a
younger workforce. In many areas, that challenge is becoming a crisis. Data from a study in one
area of the northern Michigan region showed a 40% gap in licensed care for infants and toddlers.
Childcare providers also shared their frustrating experiences with regulatory burdens and the
challenges of paying staff living wages while trying to keep rates affordable for families.
Our legislators can help:
• Decrease regulatory burden on providers.
• Invest in provider capacity for Quality Care.
• Initiate incentives to allow businesses and organizations to provide on-site childcare.
• Ensure maximum federal funding is being leveraged by the state.
Talent Attraction and Training
Northern Michigan is facing a talent deficit in many key and growing industries.
The legislature should:
• Promote investment in the Skilled Trades Training Fund and other talent initiatives.
• Ensure STEM programming and support that is compatible with the needs of rural areas.
• Support programs and remove barriers that allow universities, community colleges and
K-12 schools to assist businesses with training and talent retention.
Workforce Housing Incentives
Building “affordable” and “missing middle” housing options is an issue experienced
across northern Michigan. Given our largely rural nature, finding solutions to housing
issues with statewide programs has been more challenging than in many urban areas
that are better equipped to develop large scale housing options. The Northern Michigan
Chamber Alliance, working with regional and statewide partners, will:
• Engage the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA),
Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and state
legislators to find scalable solutions for rural housing issues.
• Initiate new programs or partnerships that can assist rural communities in tracking their critical workforce housing shortages.
2017 Budget Priorities
The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance is committed to:
Your voice makes a difference.
The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance Executives, Staff, Board members and Government Relations committees are called to action to support these priorities by educating members to advocate the priorities with legislators.