THE WEST MICHIGAN REGIONAL DASHBOARD - A TOOL FOR MEASURING PROGRESS
A Project Funded and Supported by: The West Michigan Regional Prosperity Alliance The West Michigan Regional Prosperity Alliance (WMRPA) is one of 10 economic regions identified by Governor Rick Snyder to create vibrant regional economies. The 31-member WMPRA steering committee is composed of representatives from: regional transportation and planning, economic development, higher education, community development, adult education, workforce development, private business, and philanthropic groups.
What is the regional dashboard?
The West Michigan Regional Prosperity Alliance established a common set of shared metrics that will track the region's progress on critical economic, environmental, and social outcomes. The goal of the project is to share these metrics as a regional dashboard with the region.
Why is it important?
The West Michigan region lacks a common set of measurements by which to measure its growth and prosperity. Although several organizations, such as Talent 2025, K-Connect, Our Community's Children and the West Michigan Presidents' Compact Committee are collecting, tracking, and sharing valuable data within the region, a common set of shared metrics for the entire region is needed. A coordinated measurement tool empowers communities in the region to begin strategic change and build collective action.
How Can We Help You?
The Mecosta County Development Corporation (MCDC) strives to help new and existing businesses locate and stay in Mecosta County. In addition to our regular services, we have access to a wide range of external resources, and work closely with local, state, and federal agencies, private business service providers, and higher education.
One resource for connecting small business owners and entrepreneurs to valuable resources is Start Garden. Start Garden's mission is to assist new and creative business owners with the process of beginning operations and addressing challenges faced by small business owners. Focused, but not limited to the West Central Michigan region of the state, their website is a source of information and practical tools for people thinking about starting a business, people who are in the process of starting a business, or people who are trying to grow an existing small business. The resources available at Start Garden will connect the small business owner and budding entrepreneur to appropriate partner organizations and people who can help them succeed.
In addition to these resources, be sure to check out the offerings from our other partners and links to additional information below. The Mecosta County Development Corporation is your ally in local business and industry. Please don't hesitate to call us today at (231)592-3403. We're here to help!
Are you looking for assistance with any issue related to business operations? The Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the S.C.O.R.E. (previously known as the Service Corp of Retired Executives) to help start ups and existing businesses in the area.
Every effort is made to match your needs with a counselor who is experienced in a comparable line of business. All Small Business Counseling is free.
Small Business counselors volunteer because they have enjoyed successful careers in business and want to give something back to their communities. They selflessly give their time and expertise so that more small businesses find success.
To arrange a meeting with a Small business counselor, a request form must be completed and can be obtained by contacting the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce by calling (231) 796-7649.
Other helpful links to organizations and resources that can provide assistance and information:
Business Development Resources:
Business Financing Resources:
Other Business Resources:
Come Grow with Us!
Mecosta County's economic base is growing and diversifying. Featured below are some of the industrial businesses located in Mecosta County that have added diversity and provided jobs for local people. These businesses established sites here because it made sound economic sense.
Big Rapids Components, a division of Haworth, Inc. located in the Big Rapids Industrial Park in 1995. Big Rapids Components manufactures office furniture and warehouses freight in a 400,000-square-foot facility. They employ more than 400 people.
AVAILABLE SITE is located in the Morton Township Industrial Park. The facility is ideal for any transportation, warehousing or light manufacturing company.
The Pioneer Group Printing Division is located in the Big Rapids Township Airport Industrial Park. Completed in 2000, this facility houses advanced printing presses that serve the printing needs of Pioneer Publications and customers in western Michigan.
Ice Mountain, a division of Nestle Waters North America (NWNA), constructed their newest facility in Mecosta Township on 8 Mile Road just off of U.S. 131. In July of 2006 Ice Mountain completed the initial installation of production lines planned for the facility resulting in an investment of approximately $200 million in our community and 240 jobs for local people in an advanced manufacturing environment. In 2017, the company will complete an additional expansion of $36 million and add 25 new jobs. Upon completion, NWNA will have a $270 million investment in Mecosta and Osceola Counties and contribute more than $1.3 million in taxes.
SYNOPSIS OF POTENTIAL INCENTIVES AND ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR MANUFACTURERS
Michigan Works! Incumbent Worker Training Program
- Provides funds to help train existing workers
- Training program developed by the company and delivered by the training organization of your choice
- Required 50% matching funds can include in-kind (e.g. worker’s wages while in training)
Michigan Works! Employee Assessment and Hiring Assistance
- Administration of “WorkKeys” skill assessment tool to potential, existing, and new employees
- Assistance in accepting employment applications from job seekers
Michigan Works! On-The-Job Training
- Training costs reimbursed at 50% of the employee’s beginning wage rate
- Range of training hours is usually 200-600 hours depending on the specific job
- Written agreement must be in place PRIOR to hiring
Work Opportunity Tax Credit
- Tax credit provided to employer based on hiring workers with specific characteristics (e.g veterans, public assistance recipients, offenders, etc.)
Pure Michigan Talent Connect
- Internet-based system of job matching for Michigan employers and job seekers
- 850,000+ available resumes
- 1 million+ searches per month conducted by job seekers
- 95% approval rating by employers
P.A. 198 Industrial Property Tax Abatement
- Granted at the discretion of the local unit of government
- Up to 50 % abatement on real or personal property for up to 12 years
P.A. 328 Personal Property Tax Relief in Distressed Communities
- Granted at the discretion of the local unit of government
- Up to 100% abatement on personal property and equipment new to Michigan for a term negotiated with local governmental unit
- Only available in eligible distressed communities (i.e. Big Rapids)
Assistance with Plant and Manufacturing Process Layout
- Available through the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC) and includes assistance with lean manufacturing and continuous improvement, quality systems, ISO 14001, costing systems, management, and market diversification (there is a cost involved for this service)
- Consultation also available through qualified Ferris State University staff (Ron McKean)
- Energy audits for existing facilities as well as “green building” design assistance available through qualified Ferris State University staff (Ron McKean)
Assistance with Procuring Federal Defense Contracts
- Available through MEDC Defense Contract Coordination Center
- Works through the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
- Provides bid matching and bid package assistance
Anchor Renaissance Zone
- Limited to five projects per year statewide
- Pertains to situations where a major industry acts as an anchor to attract additional second and third tier suppliers to locate in proximity to anchor manufacturer
- Anchor manufacturer becomes eligible to claim any MEGA tax credits normally due to new second and third tier suppliers
Workers’ Compensation Cost Control Service
- Available as a free service from the MEDC through a “Letter of Authorization” process
- Assists employers in designing and implementing strategies for minimizing their costs of workers’ compensation coverage
MIOSHA-Consultation, Education and Training (CET) Service
- Free, no penalty, proactive site assessment of potential safety and health hazards provided by MIOSHA-CET Division
- Provides the opportunity to learn about possible safety and health hazards and implement corrective actions in advance of a regular MIOSHA enforcement inspection
- Offers training programs on a wide range of workplace safety and health topics
Identification of Suitable Available Land for New Facility Location or Expansion
- Local site selection assistance is available to employers looking to locate or expand in Mecosta County
- Local governments are willing to work with existing employers to accommodate expansion needs
- Three industrial parks in Mecosta County have sites immediately available for industrial development
Community Infrastructure Development
- Coordination and proper timing of additional job creation opportunities with local units of government allows for the leverage of outside grant funds in order to provide upgraded water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, road improvements, and other utility enhancements of benefit to both the company and the local community
Brownfield Redevelopment Incentive
- Coordination with the county or city Brownfield Redevelopment Authority could result in the availability of incentives to recapture the cost of any remediation activities on targeted parcels of property (if needed) to level the playing field and make the development of these parcels revenue neutral for the company.