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Thank you for your interest in the our virtual round table series Re-Engaging the Rural Economy - presented by The Right Place Rural Team in partnership with the Ionia County Economic Alliance, Lake County Economic Development Alliance, Montcalm Economic Alliance, Newaygo County Economic Development Advisory Committee & the Oceana County Economic Alliance.

Presented with generous support from Consumers Energy.


The focus of this follow-up to our impactful series this summer: convene business owners & leaders from multiple sectors of the economy in our rural West Michigan counties to share best practices, build networks and learn from each other as we continue to weather the storm of COVID-19. Businesses can learn a great deal from their peers across the region to help them be resilient during this crisis and position themselves for success as we strive toward economic recovery.

Sessions are open to any business/organization throughout West Michigan, with a focus on those operating in rural communities. While each session will also include a brief presentation from a subject matter expert or peers demonstrating success in the field, the bulk of each virtual round table will be interactive peer-to-peer discussion.

Our three virtual roundtable sessions

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November 18th | 8:30-9:30am

Going into the colder weather months of Michigan winters can mean additional challenges for small businesses. Let's discuss some tips & strategies for 'weathering the storm', including streamlining business operations, innovative customer engagement opportunities and more.

Guest Co-Hosts:

Scott & Robbin Faulkner

Riverstop Cafe - Newaygo

Leigh Young

Michigan Main Street Center

Target Audiences: Retail, Dining, Service Businesses, Municipal Leadership, Planning Commissions, DDAs, Chambers

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December 2nd | 8:30-9:30am

While unemployment skyrocketed in our region earlier this year, businesses still struggle to fill their workforce needs. There are some great innovations being implemented at companies in our communities, that are really 'moving the needle' when it comes to their talent retention & attraction.

Guest Co-Hosts:

Keather Winslow, HR Manager

APEC - Lake Odessa

Ashley Lantinga, Dir. of Culture

MKP CPAs - Middleville

Cindy Brown, VP Talent Initiatives

The Right Place, Inc.

Target Audiences: HR Professionals, Business Owners, Recruiters, General Management

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December 9th | 8:30-9:30am

Economic downturns can create significant opportunity for savvy entrepreneurs. Hear stories from the front lines from business startups and learn how your community can foster entrepreneurial growth, setting the stage for a stronger economic recovery.

Guest Co-Hosts:

Megan & Brian Josefowicz

The Mitten Bar / Barley & Rye, Downtown Ludington

Bryan Stratton - Caledonia

Julie Burrell & Jodi Nichols

Pitch + Grow North

Target Audiences: Local Businesses, Community Leaders, Start-Ups, DDAs, Chambers, EDOs