Column: How can it almost be Thanksgiving?
ESCANABA — As I am sitting at my desk marveling that there is only a month and a few days left of calendar year 2023, I remember my Mom telling me how time seems to go much faster as we get older. Boy, was she right. This is the time of year that I like to take a step back from our day to day activities and reflect on what has happened to this point of the year. While the pandemic economic impacts have hindered all of us for a couple of years, we are seeing the economy start to bounce back in line with pre 2020 metrics. Many large banks and financial institutions are predicting the Federal Reserve will actual make some interest rate cuts as we move into 2024. In Delta County we have done a great job vetting some important projects for our area that will bring a long-term benefit to the local economy. I think we will make some great strides in 2024, getting some of the housing and business expansion projects back on track and seeing tangible progress. These opportunities can be fast tracked if we work together and cooperate to make them a reality. If we can get on the same page or at least in the same chapter we will give ourselves a chance to make some great things happen. Collaboration on our vision, understanding changes that must occur and asking “How can I help” will shorten timeframes and increase probabilities to see some real progress. See what you can do to help!
Congratulations to Gladstone City Commissioners Brad Mantela and Judy Akkala on their re-election, as well as Mayor Joe Thompson. Best wishes to re-elected Escanaba City Council members, Tyler Dubord and Karen Moore. Congratulations to Mayor Mark Ammel as he will lead the council for another year. Both municipalities have made some great things happen and have many really good project opportunities in their future. The continuity of their groups should help them as they move forward to achieving their goals. I look forward to many outstanding achievements from both groups in the coming years.
It is the time of year to start shopping for family and friends. Two important area events are coming up, Black Friday on Tuesday and the Tree Lighting in downtown Escanaba on Nov. 21 and An Old Fashioned Christmas in downtown Gladstone on Friday Nov. 24. Both events truly put you into the holiday mood and support our many local small businesses. I saw a study a long time ago that said every $1 spent locally revolves around the local economy seven times. You have any opportunity to give back to the small businesses that are the first to say “How can I help” when there is a local fundraiser or benefit. If you take the time to visit some of the stores during the events coming up you will see many interesting items that are uniquely from the UP! Being able to shop at these wonderful shops is one of the blessing of living here, please take advantage of this opportunity.
It is also the time to be thankful for all we have here in Delta County. We have so many wonderful co-workers, friends and business partners in our everyday life to always make us feel good. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your families.
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Ed Legault is director of the Delta County Economic Development Alliance