The Grand Rapids Chamber works to create a thriving and prosperous West Michigan for all. Through events like Breakfast with Legislators, issue roundtables, committees and much more we provide our members with an opportunity to engage with local officials and make their voice heard. Our Government Affairs team advocates for issues important to our members at the state and local level.
This work starts closest to home. The decisions being made at the City of Grand Rapids, Kent County and the dozens of other local units in our region will shape the future of our communities.
The Chamber is excited to continue our commitment to create great policy by launching the inaugural Grand Rapids Policy Conference on August 16. This conference will provide a platform to hear from experts on the challenges and opportunities we currently or will soon face, and where the business community can take action to move the region forward.
“The Grand Rapids Policy Conference will provide detailed information on significant regional issues and a platform to celebrate and discuss Grand Rapids’ bright future.” said Josh Lunger, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Grand Rapids Chamber. “The business community needs to continue to lead as we look to address needs and maximize our opportunities to support vibrancy, business growth and quality of life for everyone.
The day will have a full lineup of speakers that will dive into key issues for our community. Below are a few highlights of the afternoon’s agenda.
Grand Rapids: How Do We Compare?
We will be joined by Dr. Paul Isely, Associate Dean from the Seidman College of Business who will share how local governments in West Michigan are deciding to invest their one-time federal relief dollars, and how this compares to other communities across the country.
Tom Welch, & Carol Van Andel, the Co-Chairs of Grand Action 2.0 will review the proposed and ongoing transformational projects that will impact our communities in significant and meaningful ways.
Housing supply and attainability is a key challenge facing West Michigan. Ed Pinto, Senior Fellow & Director of Enterprise Institute Housing Center and Diane Yentel from the National Low Income Housing Coalition will take part in a discussion on national trends and what might happen next, as well as what solutions are available. This will be followed by a panel moderated by Housing Next on local needs and the benefits that addressing these has for everyone.
The Future of the Grand Rapids Experience
We will close with a discussion on the work to build a top of mind region and downtown could look like with input from key stakeholders.
The West Michigan business community has always championed the significant efforts that shape our environment, and continued leadership is as critical today as ever before. Those who participate in the Grand Rapids Policy Conference will not only walk away with up-to-date information but will also know where we are headed and how they can engage to support a brighter future.