Flint, MI—Following his presentation of the Flint & Genesee Group’s annual report, CEO Tim Herman said the organization’s 2022 achievements present “good reason to be optimistic” about Flint and the greater county’s economic prospects.
During the March 22, 2023 presentation, Herman noted some of the prior year’s successes for each of the Group’s divisions, which work in economic development, business supports, tourism, education and talent development—work Herman summarized as:
“Our mission is to maximize economic and community growth through collaborative partnerships and promotion of this region,” he told the crowd of stakeholders gathered at Flint’s Capitol Theatre. “To effectively meet our mission, we must have a clear vision for the future.”
According to Herman, the Group’s economic development arm secured $363 million in private investments and created 393 jobs in 2022. He also credited the arm with the creation of the Flint & Genesee Business Bridge, a site designed to help connect local minority-owned businesses with resources and vendors, and a General Motors grant partnership with helping address racial disparities in the local business community.
The CEO also said the Group’s Chamber division had gained 124 new members—a 73% increase from 2021—and retained a little over 99% of its members, as well.
“I really do think it’s our parties and alcohol that keeps them,” he joked from the stage.
Herman also said the Group had seen over 100 businesses participate in its workshops and training opportunities in 2022, though he honed in on opportunities for Flint’s younger entrepreneurs as well.
“TeenQuest, our pre-employment and leadership training program for teens in grades nine through 12, graduated 323 students last year,” he said, noting that the Group’s YouthQuest program had otherwise served 1,400 kindergarten through 12th graders across Flint Community Schools, International Academy of Flint and the Flint Cultural Center Academy in 2022.
As for conferences and tourism, Herman said that last year, “the Flint and Genesee region showed signs of a rebound and returns to pre-pandemic in some key metrics.”
Those metrics included 29 event bookings and 7,524 contracted hotel room nights.
“When you combine these events with other corporate leisure travelers for the region, data shows that Genesee County’s tourism industry is recovering,” Herman said, adding that hotel occupancy had reached back into the 50% range, which he called a “significant increase” over the 2020 low of around 47%.
“In other words, demand is increasing, and so is hotel revenue,” he said. “In fact, the average rate paid for a hotel room in 2022 was over $91, up considerably from the $75 average pre-pandemic.”
After concluding last year’s report, Herman also made note of what the Group and its divisions hope to achieve in 2023.
The CEO said the organization will remain focused on removing “barriers to success,” securing investments “that sustain and grow the local economy and create jobs” and working to both attract new talent and retain existing talent within the county.
“We are looking forward to moving the needle on key metrics,” Herman said. “But we can only be successful with the ongoing commitment and engagement of our partners—all of you that are here today.”