Michigan Economic Development Incentives & Business Assistance
Van Buren County Business Climate and ResourcesWith relatively low taxes, inexpensive utilities, an experienced workforce and a strategic location served by all primary modes of transportation, Van Buren County is uniquely poised to assist in the growth of your business. Under the direction of the Economic Development Corporation, the County is focusing its resources upon job creation through business growth, retention and attraction. This webpage is one of the first steps toward a stronger economic development focus and strategy here in Van Buren County, at the Gateway to beautiful Southwest Michigan.
Van Buren County has been home to many successful business ventures over the years. These successes come from nearly all types of industries including agriculture, manufacturing, power generation and business services. In recent years Van Buren County has seen growth in many new industries including wine and beer making, tourism and technology.
Key Industries in the County include:
- Business Services
- Food and Agriculture
- Forestry and Fishing
- Heavy Construction
- Manufacturing and Logistics
Among the largest employers in Van Buren County are:
- MPI Research
- Entergy Nuclear Palisades
- Bronson Hospital and Rehabilitation Services
- Coca Cola
- South Haven Hospital
- Van Buren Intermediate School District
Business Assistance ResourcesThe leadership of Van Buren County recognizes that the long term success of our local businesses is key to the economic growth of the County. The constant change in economic challenges and opportunities makes careful business planning more critical than ever before. Thus, we have compiled a list of resources and incentive opportunities to assist our area businesses in charting their course for growth in Van Buren County, at the Gateway to beautiful Southwest Michigan..
There are a great many of resources available to assist in strategic planning, training and access to capital so this list is not complete. Please contact us for further assistance.
Michigan Economic Development CorporationA key partner to your business is the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The MEDC offers a great set of resources and incentives to assist in the growth of our area businesses. The MEDC focuses on marketing Michigan and providing the tools and environment to drive job creation and investment in the State. Click here to learn more at MEDC
Educational and Training Resources
- Lake Michigan College, The area community college providing workforce training and development
- Kinexus/Michigan Works! A non-profit that provides assistance in business, community and workforce development
- M-TEC, The Michigan Technical Education Centers in partnership with Lake Michigan College and the MEDC, provides business and industry training.
- Western Michigan University, WMU is one of 147 national research universities and hosts over 24,000 students annually.
- Van Buren Technology Center, an educational service of the Van Buren Intermediate School District, has provided Career and Technical Education (CTE) to high school and adult learners in Van Buren County and the surrounding communities since 1976. With 28 available CTE training courses, more than 1,000 high school junior and senior students from 14 sending schools enroll each year. Currently 19 of the school's 29 programs have college credit as an integral part of the student’s instruction. Partnerships have been formed with all of the surrounding community colleges as well as some of the state’s universities. Every program at the Center offers students the opportunity to achieve state and or nationally recognized certification/ licensure or college credit at no cost to the student.
Students have the opportunity to work with local business and industry as a capstone project to learn more relevant skills from the local specialist in the field. There are 3 full time placement coordinators employed at the center to help connect students and business partners for successful work experiences.
- Mi-SBDC, Michigan Small Business Development Center provides counseling, workshops and market research to small businesses to promote their growth
- Michigan Electronic Library, an extensive collection of valuable databases to promote growth of Michigan businesses
- MMTC, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center provides personalized services to small and medium businesses to assist in their growth
- MSUE, Michigan State University Extension brings the vast resources of MSU directly to support the vitality of our businesses
- SCORE, Over 30 experienced business mentors offering free consultations and low cost workshops
- Women’s Business Center at Cornerstone Alliance has a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation
- Kinexus, one on one counseling and business workshops
Access to CapitalVan Buren County is fortunate to have a great selection of conventional commercial lenders available in its region. In addition, here are a few non-traditional lending and financial assistance providers:
- The Conservation Fund is host to programs that encourage conservation to achieve environmental and economic outcomes
- Greenstone Farm Credit Services, a lender focused upon the success of the agricultural community
- Grants.gov, an online resource for all government incentive and grant opportunities
- USDA, the United States Department of Agriculture offers a wide range of resources including financial programs to assist Michigan businesses
- SBA, the Small Business Administration has a strong presence in Michigan offering counseling and financial assistance programs
- Van Buren County Economic Development Corporation’s Revolving Loan Fund is an alternative financial solution
Additional Business Resources
- Paw Paw Chamber of Commerce
- South Haven Chamber of Commerce
- Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum
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News and Events
Van Buren County also specializes in onion and strawberry production which is distributed throughout the state and the rest of the country.
Michigan is the #1 state for blueberry production in the USA.View all Success Stories