Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance
The Greater Niles Economic Development & Full Employment Corporation (now known as the "Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance") was founded in 1982 by a group of Niles area businessmen responding to a negative pattern of economic erosion threatening their community. These business owners determined that the idea of doing nothing and just letting the economic downturn continue was unthinkable. Instead of doing nothing, they took a very positive step forward by proposing an economic development program that would be financially supported by the local communities, citizens, and business owners in the Greater Niles area.
Since the early 1980s, the Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance has provided economic development services to the Greater Niles / Buchanan area as well as communities in Southern Berrien County and Cass County. We have had the pleasure of working with our existing employers, assisting them with their local expansions. We have attracted new companies to the area. We have also enjoyed working with our small businesses and entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses in our communities. Through the ebbs and flows of economic cycles over the past four decades, we have remained a constant, pro-business force for our region, making sure that our existing businesses and those looking to move to our area knew that they had an advocate in their corner. These efforts have resulted in a diverse and thriving business community.
Our organization has been directly responsible for bringing numerous businesses to the area, initiating and operating a business incubator center, directing the development of the Bertrand Crossing Industrial and Technology Park, and the development of the Niles Industrial Park. These efforts have resulted in hundreds of jobs for residents of Southwestern Michigan. We have also been the catalyst for thousands of dollars of grant money to improve infrastructure in our communities.
We could not have accomplished these things without the leadership of our board of directors and the ongoing financial support of our public and private sector investors. We thank them very much for their support.