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City of Lapeer recognized by UM-Dearborn’s iLabs’ eCities research team for strong business support

(Lapeer), May 6, 2022 –
The City of Lapeer has been recognized for its successes and efforts in contributing to Michigan’s entrepreneurial growth and economic development in the annual eCities study conducted by researchers at iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research. Lapeer has been honored as a five-star community, along with 97 other communities across the state.

“We are incredibly honored to be recognized as a five-star community by the University of Michigan-Dearborn iLab research team,” said Lapeer City Manager, Dale Kerbyson. “The City of Lapeer, Lapeer Downtown Development Authority, and many others have spent years working together to cultivate the best community for businesses and residents to prosper. We’re excited to continue our city’s economic growth and status as a vibrant place to work and live.”

Kerbyson says it is a top priority for the City of Lapeer to provide a positive experience for business owners and to expand partnerships within the city. The City of Lapeer has recently become certified in the Michigan Economic Development Corporations (MEDC) Redevelopment Ready Communities Program-- a program designed to promote effective redevelopment strategies through a series of best practices. These practices have been implemented and are regularly reviewed by city departments, including the Building Department.

Additionally, the Lapeer Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has recently graduated to the Master level of the MEDC’s Michigan Main Street program. This program has generated over $200,000 in grant support for businesses and projects located within the Main Street District and has sparked additional investment within Historic Lapeer.

“It is exciting to be recognized again for the hard work that we have been putting into the city. The Lapeer Main Street DDA prides itself on the growth and vibrancy that we have been able to support within Lapeer,” said DDA Director, James Alt. “Having a strong, vibrant downtown is essential for any city’s continued growth and it’s through strong partnerships and an overall grass root, community driven approach to development that we have been able to see so many awesome things happening within Lapeer.”

With additional support from organizations like the Lapeer Development Corporation and Lapeer Area Chamber of Commerce-- Mayor Deborah Marquardt, says there are many people who worked together to create the growth being seen in City of Lapeer.

“Wow!  I am so excited the City of Lapeer has been recognized for our economic growth all over the City of Lapeer. The City of Lapeer and DDA have worked very hard to continue this economic growth. To be recognized for this growth among 277 communities and 54 counties throughout Michigan is huge,” said Mayor Marquardt. “I would like to thank the City of Lapeer Employees & the DDA for all their hard work in providing positive experiences for business owners. I would also like to thank our business owners for everything they have contributed to our great City.”

The eCities study analyzed publicly available data from 277 communities from 54 counties in Michigan. Researchers focused on the five-year changes in property values, community assets, and tax rates, which can demonstrate the growth, investments, and cost of doing business within the community. For example, over the five-year period of 2016-2020, these communities increased their capital assets by an average of 2.9 percent per year by investments such as park facilities, water and sewer infrastructure projects, and emergency vehicles, while property tax rates increased by less than 3 percent on average per year.

Although accounting for less than 20 percent of the State’s cities and townships, the 277 communities analyzed are home to 71 percent of Michigan’s population and 86 percent of the state’s commercial property. “Each year, the eCities project aims to highlight the successes and continued commitment of cities and townships to grow business and support entrepreneurship within their communities,” said Kari Kowalski, iLabs project manager.


eCities homepage:

List of all four-star communities:

List of all five-star communities: