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Economic Development District

To cultivate a resilient and competitive economy that supports an excellent quality of life and builds pathways to prosperity for all residents.


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:



  • 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:



  • Addressing the number of individual economic development entities and the prevalence of overlapping services, through incorporation of Social Asset Mapping;


  • 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 Jerrid Burdue by email at burduej@swmpc.org or by phone (269) 925-1137 ext. 1517.

This page last updated on 4/6/2023.
Southwest Michigan Planning Commission  
376 West Main Street  Suite 130  Benton Harbor, MI 49022-3651
Phone: 269.925.1137  Fax: 269.925.0288  

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