Posted in News on January 02, 2023


Business expansion activity results in $2.38 billion private investment and $436 million in leveraged funds 

Jan. 3, 2023 // ZEELAND, MICH  – Lakeshore Advantage, the economic development organization for Allegan and Ottawa counties, released its 2022 Successful Projects & Achievements report which revealed substantial business expansion activity in the two counties. Both the number of expansions and dollar-amounts invested were sizeable increases over previous years. In 2022, businesses invested a total of $2.38 billion and leveraged an additional $436 million to expand their operations. Along with the expansions, 3,352 jobs were created or retained in the area last year—a nearly 500% increase over 2021. 

“Our team supported a record number of expansion projects last year” said Lakeshore Advantage President, Jennifer Owens. “The manufacturing industry that’s so prevalent in this region hasn’t slowed down. Our business intelligence data shows that leaders are cautiously optimistic about the year ahead.” 

The largest investments were made by companies like Gentex and LG Energy Solution, with combined commitments to invest nearly $2 billion. Most projects supported by the Lakeshore Advantage team came from the incremental growth of small- and mid-sized companies. 

“The lion’s share of projects in our region came from existing small- to mid-size companies investing an average of $12 million per project into their facilities, equipment and machinery,” said Vice President of Business Solutions, Amanda Murray. “This year’s two major projects have also prompted companies within those supply chains to inquire about relocating to the lakeshore region.” Lakeshore Advantage // West Michigan’s Business Advantage 

In total, Lakeshore Advantage supported 33 local businesses in expanding their facilities. Classic Transportation & Warehousing, an employee-owned company, opened their second state-of-the-art facility in two years, according to CEO Rod Cooper. 

“As an employee-owned company, our roots run deep here, and we are grateful for the opportunity to grow to meet our demand. We are especially thankful to the team at Lakeshore Advantage for the support and guidance they provided during our expansion projects,” said Cooper. 

In addition to supporting expansion projects, other key achievements include: 

  • Opened a new business incubator, the SURGE Center, in downtown Holland. The center is now home to more than 30 early-stage companies. 
  • Secured $60 million in state funding support to construct a massive wastewater pipeline that will connect Muskegon County and Coopersville’s systems that will generate $187M in agricultural investment and add 145 new jobs over 3 years. 
  • Assisted 63 startup companies last year who collectively raised $31.7M in capital investments. 
  • •acilitated investment of $2.1M ARPA funding into transformational workforce development projects which expand career opportunities for the emerging workforce. 
  • Awarded $130,150 to three educational institutions for automation and healthcare training equipment. 

This support is appreciated by the primary employers the Lakeshore Advantage team serves. “Lakeshore Advantage had the knowledge and experience to help us navigate what was an unfamiliar process for us with confidence. We are grateful for the work they do to help make West Michigan an attractive and competitive manufacturing community” said Impact Fab’s President, Ross Haan. 

The full Lakeshore Advantage 2022 Successful Projects and Achievements Report can be found HERE