HOUGHTON - Friday afternoon, the tape is just coming off the decals marking Susie Landers' new office in downtown Houghton.
Inside, she's already busy working on ways to improve business in downtown Houghton.
Landers started Nov. 4 as the city's part-time business consultant for downtown business retention and recruitment.
Landers is no stranger to either the downtown or being an organizer. She previously owned Good Times Music in downtown Houghton and has continued to work with the Downtown Business Association. She was also the hired manager for FinnFest 2013.
With more businesses leaving downtown than coming in, City Manager Scott MacInnes said it was time to bring in some help.
"Susie did such an outstanding job as the manager for FinnFest, and she's done such an outstanding job with the downtown business group on a volunteer basis, and I thought it was time to try this," he said.
Landers describes her position as "the feet on the street," acting as a liaison between downtown businesses and the city administration and city council.
"I've already gotten quite a few calls," she said. "The need is there."
Landers said she would be able to do things such as help entrepreneurs find resources for new businesses and assist with grand openings and other events.
"The more events we have in downtown Houghton, the more people come down here to see what we have," she said. "My job will be to bring more awareness to what we have in downtown Houghton."
Landers' enthusiasm gets people excited about business, MacInnes said. And the connection is already bearing fruit.
"As of today, she signed another lease for a business downtown," he said. "She's been able to talk with people that are interested in opening up a business downtown and let them know the assistance that the city provides."
Landers' office is at 523 Shelden Ave. She can also be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 370-3110.