The economy is on the rise around the United States, and both Lansing and the state of Michigan are feeling the success
Businesses all around the Lansing area are seeing their business on the up rise, and the local government couldn’t be happier.
Randy Hannan, Deputy Chief of Staff and executive assistant to Mayor Virg Bernero, said the Lansing region is the number one region in America for job growth in manufacturing. Hannan said this growth is due in part to the success of General Motors.
“GM is the number one selling auto maker in the world again,” Hannan said. “It really shows you how important GM is to Lansing’s economy.”
Hannan said over $500 million has been spent in new investments that have led to the retention and creation of more than 7000 jobs.
Hannan said the unemployment rate in Lansing has dropped to its lowest level in three years.
“The mayor spends 60 percent of his time on economic development, recruiting new businesses and strengthening the foundation of Lansing’s economy,” Hannan said.
Steven Haider, Professor of Economics at Michigan State University, said the unemployment rate in Lansing dropped from 8.3 to 6.9 percent from December 2010 to December 2011.
“That’s a 15 to 20 percent reduction in the number of people who are out there looking for jobs,” Haider said. “That’s just great news. Now like the rest of the country, we’re coming out of the recession.”
Haider said part of the unemployment rate drop is we have some less dependence on manufacturing.
“Overall we have lost manufacturing jobs over the last decade in Michigan,” Haider said. “Manufacturing jobs are good jobs, but they’re not the best.”
Haider said Michigan has a more diverse economy than it did 10 years ago. “With less reliance on manufacturing jobs, we’re less reliant on the car industry.”
Other businesses in the Lansing area are also feeling the effects of the growing economy.
Ruben Aldaco, the CEO and owner of Taco 911, said his business opened up last November the day before Thanksgiving, and business has picked up every week since.
“It was slow starting off at first, but we opened on nights and we get a lot of the bar crowds around here,” Aldaco said. “We stay open till 3 a.m. so when the bars close, we get everybody in here. We’re definitely doing good in this area.”
Aldaco said he definitely believes that his business will continue to grow little by little each week.
“It’s a small place but we’ve been getting the word out. It definitely is growing,” Aldaco said.
Dave Singh, manager at Eastside Party Store, said the store is doing okay and they are able to pay the bills.
“It’s not a huge profitable business,” Singh said. “But it pays everyone’s salaries and the bills.”
Singh said the business has been going up and down since Christmas and it slows down during January and February because their paying bills off from the holiday.
Ed Carpenter, head designer at Jon Anthony Florist, said the company is holding its own.
“We just went through the Christmas season and it was pretty good,” Carpenter said. “We’re not doing as well as we would like to, but it could have been much worse.”
Carpenter said Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are their peak holidays of the year.
“That’s when we, more or less, make the most that we’re going to make as far as holiday business,” Carpenter said. “We don’t advertise as much as we used to, but we have a large cliental that repeat’s business.