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Lakeshore Advantage Reports Major Economic Growth in 2023

Lakeshore Advantage Reports Major Economic Growth in 2023

Lakeshore Advantage Reports Major Economic Growth in 2023

New Report Details Substantial Business Expansion, Job Creation, and Investment in West Michigan Lakeshore Region

ZEELAND, Mich. – Lakeshore Advantage, the economic development organization for Allegan and Ottawa Counties, released its 2023 Successful Projects & Achievements report at its annual meeting on Thursday, February 1, 2024. Nearly 300 business and community leaders attended the event.

“Lakeshore Advantage had a remarkable 2023,” said Neil Boehm, board chair of Lakeshore Advantage. “From breaking ground on a regional innovation hub that will pay dividends for startup growth, to spearheading collaborative initiatives that will make this area an even greater place to live, work and do business, this organization continues to raise the bar.”

The report highlighted substantial business growth for the two-county region in 2023 in addition to a number of regional economic successes:

Breaking ground on the Next Center—the lakeshore’s hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Shepherding 26 successful business expansion projects that resulted in $3.2 billion in private investment and 1,091 new or retained jobs in the region.

Leveraging $634.3 million in business support funds.

Collaborating to identify high-priority sites for potential future industrial development.

Extending regional talent tools and resources to human resource leaders.

Working with economic development partners across West Michigan to secure $6.1 million for revitalization and placemaking projects.

Guiding businesses to stay competitive with smart technology implementation resources.

The West Michigan Lakeshore region saw major investments last year from companies in the advanced energy storage, food processing, and smart manufacturing sectors. On the heels of this growth, Lakeshore Advantage announced a new strategic focus on these industry clusters poised for continued expansion.

“It’s clear that companies recognize the immense potential and outstanding workforce this area has to offer,” commented Jennifer Owens, president of Lakeshore Advantage. “I want to thank

our partners for their continued collaboration and commitment to fostering a welcoming business climate. Our team will continue working diligently to support our businesses and create economic opportunities that benefit all in our region."

While maintaining broad business retention services for employers across sectors, the organization will now offer more targeted expertise to catalyze further development in advanced energy storage, food processing, and smart manufacturing specifically. With this dual approach, Lakeshore Advantage aims to support current business needs across the board while proactively nurturing high-potential clusters that could substantially benefit the region's economic future.

"Our data-driven approach makes it clear that with concentrated efforts on supporting these thriving sectors, we can guide businesses to the tools, resources, and partnerships needed to expand operations and create good jobs,” stated Amanda Murray, vice president of business solutions for Lakeshore Advantage. “We want to position these clusters for long-term success in the West Michigan Lakeshore region while continuing to assist businesses across all sectors.”

The full Lakeshore Advantage 2023 Successful Projects and Achievements Report can be found at


Photos submitted:

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Caption – Rendering of the Next Center on the corner of College and 7th in downtown Holland, MI

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Caption – Lakeshore Advantage 2023 Successful Projects & Achievements Report

About Lakeshore Advantage

Lakeshore Advantage is the economic GPS for West Michigan's Ottawa and Allegan Counties. The nonprofit economic development organization grows primary employers at all stages of development, plans to ensure long-term economic health, and solves economic challenges and identifies opportunities. Lakeshore Advantage was established in 2003 by forward-focused business and community leaders to assist primary employers—from startups to established global corporations—as they navigate growth in the lakeshore region.

In 2023, Lakeshore Advantage supported 26 business growth projects consisting of $3.2 billion in private investment and $634.3 million in support funds leveraged in the two counties. Business growth projects resulted in 1,091 new and retained jobs. In addition, Lakeshore Advantage provided economic support to 285 primary employers and 73 startup companies in the two counties. More at

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