Micaela Smith from Lansing talks about economic development and the airport as a guest speaker for women in business – The Southland Journal

Micaela Smith from Lansing talks about economic development and the airport as a guest speaker for women in business (Glenwood, IL) – On Wednesday, November 17, 2021, the Southland Chamber of Commerce and Black Industry hosted the monthly Women in Business luncheon at Tuscan Gardens in Glenwood. The event attracted a huge number of successful women from all sectors, providing the perfect environment for networking. The event was hosted by Chicago Heights Park District Board Chair Jessica Mangiaracina.

The highlight was the guest speaker Trustee Micaela Smith from Lansing, IL. Administrator Smith shared the trials she faced on her journey to become Lansing’s first black elected official. From being literally slammed door after door in her face as she knocked on the door hating opponents who weren’t quite ready for a person of color to lead, Administrator Smith no. never lost hope.

Prior to her accolades in Lansing, she was also the first black commissioner of the Lan-Oak Park district. Although she encountered many obstacles on her path to success, she never let them derail her from the path she was opening. In fact, they only motivated her to work harder and broaden her horizons. Administrator Smith shared her recipe for success with the public.

“My journey to become who and what I am required a recipe; endure growing pains, experience the good, the bad and the ugly. You also have to fix your mess; your inner self-liberation negativity, the pain and injustice that you will go through only sour your attitude, drains your energy and limits your creativity. Also, I had to stop blaming other things and people for my lack of success.

“This is where we start to create excuses used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments to nothingness.

“The last final ingredient, I must have become uncomfortable. I had to let go, let go and take a leap of faith.

So, let’s recap my ingredients; growing pains, inner disorder, responsibility and discomfort. These are the ingredients of my success.

As an administrator, her duties include the management of Lansing Municipal Airport and economic development. With the pandemic underway, she had her work cut out for her. Many large businesses in Lansing were unable to maintain the nationwide shutdown as the Torrence Business Corridor was hit hard.

Using her own recipe for success, she has launched several initiatives to attract investors and residents to the village. This has fostered opportunities and collaboration between the village, its inhabitants and stakeholders.

“Implementation of a village grant program which is our facade improvement program, which provides funding to new or existing businesses for interior and / or exterior improvement. These upgrades can be as small as a new awning, sign, windows or doors, or as large as a new roof or new plumbing, something much larger for your renovations.

“In addition, incremental tax financing, also known as TIF, can provide funds for stability, improvements or other financing needs. In addition, Enterprise Zones which offer a variety of business grants and a Village Purchase Option which is a grant funded program under the Strong Communities Program (SCP) of the IL Housing Authority which assists to stabilize housing.

We are able to receive funds to demolish, renovate or buy a property that may be foreclosed or overdue and sold at a lower price to put the property back on the tax roll. In addition, there is also an option / opportunity for Class 8 tax incentive. “

Once again, Trustee Smith overcame her obstacles by bringing many well-known businesses to the village in 2022, such as Starbucks, Smoothie King, and Chipotle. A full-fledged pioneer leaving her mark in history, her story was inspiring and insightful.

Micaela Smith from Lansing talks about economic development and the airport as a guest speaker for women in business

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