LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Economic recovery was a big concern for many city leaders in 2021.
As we see another surge in COVID-19 cases, Lansing mayor Andy Schor said more needs to be done to help businesses survive the pandemic.
As we begin 2022, the mayor said the city needs to help businesses recover, while still looking for more opportunities to spark new developments.
One of his focuses is to attract investments and state support to the downtown district.
“There’s always a lot of pieces to that economic development puzzle, but now with COVID and the pandemic and more of our economic issues its more complex,” said Mayor Andy Schor.
Mayor Schor is settling into a new year after being sworn into another term yesterday.
As small businesses around the city balanced changing COVID-19 guidelines and case rates through out the year, Schor said one focus is supporting downtown businesses that missed out on customers that work in state government when their offices went virtual.
“We gave out some grants, Ingham County gave out some grants through their sunrise program. DII gave some grants and we are pushing the legislature in the next supplemental for about five million dollars that we can give out further grants,” said Schor.
He says the future of development in downtown will come in the form of converting empty offices spaces into new housing.
But he said a lot more projects are in the works.
“We’re doing similar work on the southside, you’re seeing a lot of work where we’ll have a 600 million dollar McLaren hospital and all the benefit it will have on the southeast side. We have a Corridor Improvement Authority that is doing a lot of work in the southwest side,” said Schor.
The Lansing-Delta Township GM plant was in the headlines this past year.
For 11 weeks, a semiconductor shortage that slammed the auto industry forced the plant to reduce production.
Months later, the Lansing City Council voted to approve the first part of plans for GM’s new $2.5 billion electric battery plant.
Schor said that the move will keep Lansing and Michigan competitive.
“We need to do anything we can to get this battery plant here. A. Because of the investment. B. Because this is the future. And you can’t forget, we have two plants with product and if we can get this battery plant here, then that product will convert to battery product and we know plants will continue to remain open,” said Schor.