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Economic Development

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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. Details on CEDS and CEDS updates from previous years may be viewed on the CEDS project page.


SWMPC produced the a full CEDS re-write in December 2013. To view this document, annual updates, and to submit a project for the “Call for Projects”, navigate to the CEDS project page.

 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:


We would appreciate your input on any of these projects and initiatives. Please contact Ryan Fellows by email at fellowsr@swmpc.org or by phone (269) 925-1137 ext. 1513.

This page last updated on 11/16/2016.
Southwest Michigan Planning Commission  376 West Main Street  Suite 130  Benton Harbor, MI 49022-3651
Phone: 269.925.1137  Fax: 269.925.0288  Email: swmpc@swmpc.org

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