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There is No Wrong Door


The City of Lakewood’s Planning & Development Department, LakewoodAlive, and the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce receive calls every day from residents and businesses regarding economic development issues. Bryce Sylvester, Director of Planning and Development for the City of Lakewood, stresses that there is no “wrong door” when it comes to economic development and that any of the above-named organizations are equipped to answer questions and point callers in the right direction. It is important to note, however, that each of these organizations has a specific mission and purpose.

The Department of Planning and Development coordinates long-range planning, zoning, and economic development for the City of Lakewood as well as administers the federal Community Development Block Grant Funds awarded to Lakewood by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

LakewoodAlive Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2002 by the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce as Lakewood Community Progress Inc. LakewoodAlive is a nonprofit economic development corporation whose mission is to facilitate economic stability and growth in the City of Lakewood. LakewoodAlive’s three programmatic areas are downtown Lakewood revitalization (using the MainStreet™ approach), housing outreach and community engagement.

The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit membership organization. Serving the greater Lakewood community for over 100 years, the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce is the leading membership organization for the advocacy and advancement of business interests. Comprised of more than 325 member businesses and individuals, the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce has a long history of advocating on behalf of businesses owners by providing group purchasing programs for products and services, advocating for changes in legislation or regulation, offering affordable marketing & promotional opportunities, and providing educational seminars, networking events, and monthly meetings for small businesses to connect with and learn from each other.

These often-asked questions and answers might help to further clarify the roles of these three organizations:

I own a business that I’d like to relocate to (or within) Lakewood. How do I find the appropriate building or storefront for my business?

The City of Lakewood Planning & Development Department has information regarding available commercial space in Lakewood. The City can assist you with finding space, identifying technical & financial resources, and securing your certificate of occupancy.

My office is in downtown Cleveland, but I live in Lakewood and do plenty of business in here. How can I meet new potential clients and customers in Lakewood?

From seminars, monthly meetings, and various committees and task forces, the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce can help you make new contacts, gain referrals and meet people who can help you with ideas and additional ways to grow your business.

I’m a Lakewood resident and I’d like to make a tax-deductible donation that benefits Economic Development in my city.

Become a supporter of LakewoodAlive, a resident-based 501(c)(3) organization that was founded to advocate for citizen engagement in economic development issues.

I’m a Lakewood business trying to grow my business and become more visible in the community. Who can help?

The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce offers a wide range of affordable advertising options and sponsorship packages for businesses and non-profit organizations. Membership also provides free marketing opportunities as the Chamber is always looking to publicize member-related news and events.

I’m a merchant in the downtown Lakewood footprint (Detroit Avenue between Bunts and Arthur) and I’m interested in partnering with neighboring businesses on upcoming events and beautification efforts.

Join your fellow business owners in the Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance. The DLBA is a committee of LakewoodAlive dedicated to building and branding Lakewood’s historic business district. The DLBA meets regularly to discuss issues specific to downtown and to collaborate on marketing efforts, cross-promotion, and downtown events.

I’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution to an organization that focuses on improving Lakewood’s housing stock.

Support LakewoodAlive. The LakewoodAlive Housing Outreach Program provides free services to Lakewood residents who need help or financial assistance with maintaining their homes.

I’m a business person who is interested in saving money. How can I obtain less expensive health care and other business services?

The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce is a member of NOACC (Northern Ohio Area Chambers of Commerce). Through this partnership Lakewood Chamber members have access to substantial savings on Anthem (health, life, disability) insurance, workers’ compensation, credit card & payroll processing, office supplies and services, FedEx shipping, Constant Contact email marketing, and more.