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Focus Macomb - November 2023

Message from Mark

Mark Hackel

Hello and welcome to the November edition of Focus Macomb. It’s always a very busy season, so I hope you were able to take time and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Now, we’ve got a lot under way here in Macomb County, so I’ll get right to it. This past Friday we launched our annual Shop Local Macomb campaign, a fun and festive initiative that encourages shopping small with the opportunity to win big! All you need to do is head out to one of Macomb County’s independently owned and operated retailers, snap a picture while you’re shopping and submit it at for a chance to win one of 10 $150 gift cards generously donated by First State Bank. The small business you support is automatically entered to win a $1,000 grant from the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. The entry portal closes Sunday, December 3 at 11:59 p.m., and winners will be announced on Monday, December 4, so get out there and shop local – because when we do that, the whole community wins.

I’d also like to invite you all to watch my annual State of the County address on Wednesday, December 6 at 6 p.m. From major economic investments and big infrastructure projects, to smaller initiatives and daily County operations, I cover it all in this address. So if you’re interested, you can watch the livestream. Find out how to tune in via the opening article of this newsletter.

As we head towards the end of the year, I hope you will carve out some time to enjoy the holiday happenings taking place throughout the County. You can find all types of festive fun, and other regular updates, on the Make Macomb Your Home Events  Facebook page. And of course, check out to find inspiration for the rest of winter. From outdoor ice skating rinks and sledding hills, to bowling alleys and coffee shops, we’ve got all the information you need to get cozy in the County during the cooler months.

Thank you and take care,



How to livestream State of the County address 

2023 State of the County address

The 11th annual State of the County address will take place this year on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. County Executive Mark Hackel will once again take the stage to highlight what the County has done this past year to improve quality of life for those who live, work and play in our 27 communities.

For those wishing to watch, please view the 2023 State of Macomb County Livestream at the time of the event.

Gift cards and grants up for grabs as annual Shop Local Macomb campaign returns

women with shopping bags

Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) has announced the return of its Shop Local Macomb contest, an effort to encourage supporting small businesses during the holiday season. The campaign, now in its seventh year, asks shoppers to give business to independently owned and operated retail establishments. In return, participants can enter into a drawing to win one of 10 $150 gift cards donated by First State Bank. 

“Shop Local Macomb gives us the opportunity to showcase the more than 1,600 independently owned and operated businesses in the County,” said Executive Mark Hackel. “We’re fortunate to have this incredible community of retailers and during the holiday season, we need to show them our support. I know I’ll be purchasing some of my gifts at local small businesses this year, and I hope you’ll join me in this effort.”

To enter, participants must: 

  • Snap a picture shopping with a local retailer Friday, November 24 through Sunday, December 3
  • Submit the entry on
  • Share the images on Facebook or Instagram using the #ShopLocalMacomb​​​​​

Businesses highlighted by consumers through photos will also be automatically entered to win a $1,000 grant. Winning shoppers and businesses will be randomly selected on Monday, December 4.

“Macomb County Planning and Economic Development is proud to once again launch this campaign and offer our local retailers, and local shoppers, the chance to win big,” said MCPED Director Vicky Rowinski. “This program is a true collaborative effort with several community partners so I’d like to thank all those involved in helping us continue this holiday tradition.”

Shop Local Macomb is coordinated by the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development with support from area chambers, including Connect Macomb, the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce, the Eastpointe-Roseville Chamber of Commerce, the Northern Macomb Regional Chamber and the Anchor Bay Chamber of Commerce. 

For more details visit

Macomb County Meals on Wheels in urgent need of volunteers ahead of holiday season

Volunteer delivering Meals on Wheels to a participant

The Macomb County Office of Senior Services has issued an urgent request for volunteers able to work for its Meals on Wheels program. The request, which comes ahead of the holiday season, is in response to a growing waitlist of individuals needing delivery throughout the County.

“We currently have a waiting list for seniors who need meals, especially for those who live in the north end of the County,” said Director Sheila Cote. “We are asking for our community to help support our seniors by delivering meals.”

Locations in which volunteers are needed include Richmond, Lenox, Memphis, Ray Township, Armada and New Haven. Other communities that need volunteers include Clinton Township, Harrison Township, Warren and Sterling Heights.

“I can’t think of a better way to give back during the holiday season,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “Volunteering with Meals on Wheels is an incredible way to get involved and make a difference in the lives of seniors in need.”

Currently, the Office of Senior Services oversees 84 routes for the Meals on Wheels program, and each of those routes needs to be filled by a volunteer every day. This requires hundreds of volunteers to ensure all 1,700 seniors served by the program receive their meal.

But more support is needed and the office is asking members of the community to sign up as volunteers. Individuals interested in helping can apply today through the Office of Senior Services at/ Duties will include:

  • Completing a new volunteer orientation
  • Delivering meals two times per month along routes that take approximately 60 minutes to complete
  • Routes are driven Monday through Friday at lunchtime (generally delivered between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.)
  • Routes can be located close to a volunteer's home or work
  • Delivering holiday meals on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, while Emergency Preparedness Packs are delivered twice a year on Saturdays

Volunteers must also pass a background check, have their own vehicle, a valid driver's license and carry automobile insurance. Mileage reimbursement is offered.

Individuals with questions can email

To learn more about the Macomb County Office of Senior Services, visit

Tree planting increases green canopy in Center Line

Center Line Tree Planting

Local volunteers planted 21 trees at a location in Center Line, an area with a significant lack of green canopy. The October 27 planting was made possible through the support of Second Nature Brands. The company’s employees also volunteered to plant Sweet Gum, Oaks, Black Gum, White Pine, Maple and Yellowwood trees alongside volunteers from Comerica Bank.

“Second Nature Brands is grateful for the opportunity to help make things better in the communities where our Michigan brands, Kar’s Nuts and Sanders candy, are made every single day,” said Second Nature Brands CEO Vic Mehren. “We had a wonderful tree planting event thanks to a terrific group of employee volunteers and our partnership with Macomb County.”

Trees were planted around the brand new parking lot at Center Line Memorial Field. These trees were selected to enhance the beauty of the new parking lot.

"Center Line is proud to be at the forefront of reforestation of our community and contributing to Macomb County's goal of county-wide tree canopy restoration,” said Mayor Bob Binson.

The event was led by Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED), which has hosted several plantings this season through its Green Macomb initiative. Launched in 2016, the program aims to double tree canopy in Macomb County.

“Urban areas generally have fewer trees and a less dense green canopy, which can have a negative impact on a community,” said Gerard Santoro, program director for parks and natural resources, MCPED. “This area of Center Line has been underserved in this capacity for some time, so last week’s planting will be significant for nearby residents and individuals that use the public space. With these new trees, we hope to make the park a healthier destination for everyone and promote the neighborhood's stability.”

Currently Macomb’s tree cover is 26 percent, which falls short of the USDA recommendation of a 40 percent cover or better in urban areas. However, along with residents increasing tree plantings on their properties, promotion and education will help the county reach that goal.

More information on green canopy in Macomb County can be found

Macomb County EMS Medical Control Authority hosts full-scale mass casualty incident training exercise

EMS worker standing

The Macomb County EMS Medical Control Authority conducted a comprehensive full-scale mass casualty incident training exercise in partnership with key agencies, including the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, Clinton Township Fire/EMS and Macomb County Emergency Management. The exercise included over 200 participants from various EMS agencies across Macomb County and aimed to evaluate and enhance the readiness and capabilities of emergency medical services in handling mass casualty incidents.

"The safety and well-being of our community are top priorities,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “Collaborative exercises like these play a crucial role in ensuring our emergency response teams are well-prepared and equipped to handle any unforeseen challenges they may face."

The event took place at Kensington Church, 25000 Hall Rd, Clinton Township, bringing together a diverse array of stakeholders including local fire, EMS, law enforcement, dispatch, emergency management, the Region 2 North Healthcare Coalition and hospitals. The primary objective was to establish a hands-on learning environment that thoroughly tested and developed the collective response strategies essential during mass casualty incidents.

"The Macomb County Sheriff's Office appreciates the opportunity to help facilitate and participate in such a meaningful training opportunity," said Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. "The outstanding collaborative efforts demonstrated by those in the training activity truly speak to the dedication and skill of our countywide first responders. While we pray our community never realizes a mass casualty incident, we are committed to ensuring those who are called to respond have the training necessary to best handle the situation."

According to Macomb County officials, active assailant incidents are dynamic, quick-paced events that require a certain amount of specialized and coordinated planning by emergency management and public safety entities. The events themselves are usually short in duration and response efforts need to be quick and efficient in order to protect and save as many people as possible.

"This exercise provides an invaluable opportunity for all participating agencies to enhance their coordination and preparedness for managing mass casualty incidents," said Brandon Lewis, director, Macomb County Emergency Management. “The training will be instrumental in refining our response strategies and improving overall community safety."

The Macomb County EMS Medical Control Authority is enthusiastic about the participation and contributions from all involved agencies and expects this exercise to serve as a benchmark for future preparedness initiatives.

Save the Date

people shopping during winter
Shop Local Macomb

November 24 - December 3, 2023



2023 State of Macomb County Address
2023 State of the County livestream

December 6, 2023



For more happenings throughout the county, visit Make Macomb Your Home events and stay up to date with the Make Macomb Your Home official Facebook page.

Department:Planning and Economic Development