Grand Rapids Chamber Response to State of the City Address

Grand Rapids Chamber Response to State of the City Address 1Grand Rapids is Poised to Thrive

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Following the Mayor’s State of the City Address, the Grand Rapids Chamber applauded key aspects of her vision including a successful recovery, and a hopeful future. The Chamber also sees alignment on key priorities such as supporting business recovery, housing supply/affordability, and more. 

“We applaud and are thankful for the leadership of Mayor Bliss, Chair Bolter, and City Manager Washington. Leadership matters and our region has benefited greatly from their relentless and collaborative pursuit of overcoming the challenges of the pandemic,” said Rick Baker, President & CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber. “Today’s address is aligned with our priorities of supporting business recovery, returning vibrancy to our streets, addressing housing supply and affordability, and focusing unerringly on an optimistic, equitable, and growth-oriented future.” 

If we can create the climate for a healthier housing market, we can have a significant impact on improving educational, health, employment, economic and equity outcomes, as well as providing greater opportunities for generational wealth creation,” said Joshua Lunger, Senior Director of Government Affairs for the Grand Rapids Chamber.  

This work is aligned with the Chamber ‘Why?’ of supporting a thriving and prosperous West Michigan for all,” continued Lunger. This work benefits everyone. It helps low-income families, the youth just entering the workforce or starting a career, businesses working to attract and retain talent, and more. Progress will have the greatest benefit for those with the greatest need while positioning our region for continued growth. 

Our small business community is the foundation of our economy, and we must still focus on supporting their recoveryWe appreciate the Mayor’s call to shop and buy local. When we take our collective purchasing power and are intentional in local and equitable procurement, our impact will be felt within our region, city, and neighborhoods,” said Dante Villarreal, Vice President of Business & Talent Development.  


About the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce  

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce leads the business community in creating a dynamic, top-of-mind West Michigan region. Together with over 2,500 member businesses (80% of which are small businesses with fewer than 50 employees), we work to expand the influence, access, and information required to actively encourage entrepreneurial growth and community leadership. We offer the connections, resources, and insights needed to develop strong leaders, engage a diverse workforce, foster an inclusive and welcoming community, and advance a vibrant business environment that nurtures economic prosperity for all. Learn more at 



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