On Thursday, November 30, businessmen and women from Lake County gathered in the North Ballroom of Innsbrook Country Club in Merrillville, Indiana. This Lake County Economic Alliance (LCEA) brought everyone together to see the growth of the county, along with seeking new investors in the community.
“Tonight is a celebration of our successes in Lake County. We have been doing very well attracting new businesses, and it has been a long-term effort with this organization, which was created back in May of 2014, " said Donald Babcock, President and CEO of LCEA.
"Since then, that track record of being a one-stop shop for economic developers, site selectors, and brokers was a place that shares information to allow people to make better decisions relative to their major investments. That could be from 10 to 20 million, or maybe as much as 500 million or even a billion dollars.”
As Lake County has seen exponential growth year after year, the county is booming more than ever now. This results in more and more projects and plenty of new investors, which is their entire goal for this event.
“We have got a number of large projects underway right now and more in the pipeline. With that being said, tonight we are going to educate our members, try to attract some new members, and show off the great county that we all live in,” said Babcock.
“I anticipate that we will have even more development in 2024 than there was in 2023. In 2022, it was kind of a little bit of a high point relative to local economics but we still have a lot of leads and a lot of projects that we are following up on.”
The financial support that is gained from this event all goes back to the county. Babcock mentioned that there are many projects in the works, but he is not the only person behind this event.
“This is what it's all about, increasing the number of jobs and investment, and making a future and a quality of life for residents of Lake County so that you're proud of what this organization does on a daily basis. This is a regroup and a great chance to come together to say, ‘Here's where we're at, and here's where we intend to be,'” said Anna Mihajlovic, marketing and special projects coordinator for LCEA.
“We will be having guest speakers, such as a few brokers and developers to update everyone and educate them on what we have going on in the works.”
With there being many people who are thrilled about the future of the economy in Lake County, it has been hard to contain the excitement as this event was filled with smiling faces.
“Tonight is all about promoting Northwest Indiana and Lake County Economic activity and I have really enjoyed being a part of this and the community,” said Michael O’Connor, senior vice president at Holiday Properties.
“I'm optimistic about the economy improving and the interest rate outlook. The inflation outlook seems to be improving and I think it will bode well for the growth in Northwest Indiana to Lake County.”