What’s on the agenda as Mackinac Policy Conference returns


MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — For the first time in two years, policymakers and those who influence public policy are gathering on Mackinac Island.

The Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Mackinac Policy Conference is back after being canceled last year due to the pandemic. This year, it was moved from its normal spring slot to mid-September.

Even with the change, the ferries to and the streets of the island are once again full.

The Mackinac Policy Conference has, over the past years, become a premier meeting place for business leaders, public policymakers and elected officials from all over the state to gather to take a look at trends and priorities for the future. In years past, attendees have talked about innovation in the automotive industry, public infrastructure and building a healthier environment for businesses in the state.

This year, there will no doubt be conversations about all of those things — but the major topic is what the business environment looks like post-pandemic.

From talking about to how to better use and improve public use areas rediscovered during the pandemic to investing in children impacted by home schooling and quarantine, attendees will try to come up with ways to navigate a new normal for the state. There will be an emphasis on being proactive about diversity and inclusion and conversation about how the business landscape was changed because of COVID-19.

The Detroit Chamber event is the first of two conferences on the island this week. The Michigan Republican Leadership Conference begins Thursday.

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