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Economic Development District
The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission is the U.S. Economic Development Administration designated Economic Development District (EDD) which serves Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties. One of our main functions as an EDD includes the preparation of a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) every three to five years, as well as annual updates to this document. SWMPC completed a new, full CEDS in December 2017.
SWMPC’s current economic development priorities include:
- Developing the region’s broadband internet adoption strategy (Southwest Michigan Broadband Initiative) in cooperation with Connect Michigan;
- Partnering with emerging or established industry clusters within the southwest Michigan region to determine needs for expanding and growing these industries;
- Supporting the development of Strategic Placemaking projects to attract and retain talented workers within the region, enhance quality of life for residents, and to create vibrant, sustainable, and prosperous communities;
- Supporting the development of a regional network of farmers, food processors, and markets to provide fresh, locally-grown products to the southwest Michigan region and beyond;
- Pursuing economic development strategies that promote responsible land use decisions, such as the concept of smart growth;
- Helping to foster economic growth by providing our local units of government with high-quality research and planning services as they engage in economic development endeavors; and
- Strengthening the relationship between southwest Michigan’s communities, non-profit organizations, our neighboring regions, the State of Michigan, and the Federal government as they relate to economic development.
Past priorities have included:
- Working with the Michigan Association of Regions, the Land Policy Institute at MSU, and regional stakeholders to develop a regional strategic growth plan;
- Addressing the number of individual economic development entities and the prevalence of overlapping services, through incorporation of Social Asset Mapping;
- Promotion of the Venture Quest 2011 Business Plan Competition;
- Improving the Funding Opportunities page and updating our system of publishing applications for federal funding (ongoing)
We would appreciate your input on any of these projects and initiatives. Please contact Ryan Fellows by email at email@example.com or by phone (269) 925-1137 ext. 1513.