GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spent part of Friday in West Michigan making stops in Portage and Grand Rapids to talk to small business owners about how they are faring nearly two years into the pandemic.

The governor listened as business leaders talked about some of the challenges that they have and continue to navigate. Supply chain, rising cost and, of course, the number one complaint we hear from businesses in almost all sectors … finding enough workers.

“Small business is the backbone of our economy, it’s the lifeblood of our community. I wanted to come here to the Grand Rapids Chamber and sit with a variety of small business owners and listen. I’m not talking at these meetings, I’m listening because I want to make sure that as we plot forth our budget for 2022 and 2023, it’s reflective of the needs of people,” the governor said.

She added that while everything “feels so hyper partisan right now,” she wants to focus on solving problems and ensuring that Michigan is a place where business owners and their families can thrive.

The governor has been holding several such meetings with small business owners around the state in advance of her State of the State address on Jan. 26

The State of the State address will once again be virtual. You can see it streaming on beginning at 7 p.m.