Providing resources for communities and entrepreneurs to create and retain jobs in Antrim, Charlevoix & Cheboygan Counties.

Learning how to make communities more entrepreneurial friendly in Ludington, MI

Northern Lakes Economic Alliance  •  231-582-6482  •

Jessica Lovay, Community Development & Grants

Learning how to make communities more entrepreneurial friendly in Ludington, MI

100 community leaders from across the state and U.S. gathered in Ludington, MI on October 1-2, 2019 for the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) conference to learn exciting concepts and resources, and share best practices and fresh ideas to empower themselves and others to grow their local communities.

“This conference was the most enjoyable and productive 2 days I have had in quite some time. A great range of topics with a really cool concept of incorporating the breakouts all around the City of Ludington,” said Matthew Schooley, Alma City Manager.

The Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC), in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), is a community development program designed for stake-holders, economic developers, businesses, local government, educators, and non-profits to create a network that increases a community’s potential for entrepreneurship. The program culminates in an annual conference held every October in towns across Michigan where participants attend to share ideas and learn best practices.

Former mayor of Ludington, John Henderson, kicked off the conference sharing how he and his team revitalized downtown Ludington by asking tough questions and doing hard work. Participants attended breakout sessions embedded in shops and businesses throughout the downtown, offering the unique opportunity to learn about and experience an entrepreneurial community. Brian and Megan Josefowicz, proprietors of three anchor restaurants in Ludington—Sportsman’s Restaurant, The Mitten Bar, and Barley & Rye—closed the conference sharing how they preserved their generational family business while creating a first-of-its-kind craft beer bar, and the area’s first cocktail and spirit bar where community is able to grow and thrive.

Follow this link to view photos from the event  For more information on the CEC Conference and how you can attend next year, visit

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