Economic Development2022-04-18T17:19:32+00:00

Economic Development

Economic Development

The Chamber is the center of economic development services and programs in Northwest Ottawa County. We coordinate the area’s strategic planning process, provide data and contacts to potential new businesses and act as the primary marketer of the community to the outside world. We have also developed solid relationships with neighboring communities through the West Michigan Economic Development Coalition and have brought educators and employers together through our Business & Education Partnerships programs.

Our focus is retaining and growing our existing businesses by bringing the resources they need to stay competitive in today’s global economy. Our office will connect you with the U.S. Small Business Administration for 504 Loan funds, provide small business counseling and facilitate communication among local municipalities and the business community. We create opportunities for businesses to network with potential customers and peers and oversee an extensive training and workforce development initiative. When a business has needs outside The Chamber’s list of services, we refer them to the appropriate agency or person who can best help them to move forward.

Contact The Chamber at 616.846.3153 for more information on any of the following.

Tax Abatement

Manufacturing is the core of our economy in Northwest Ottawa County and all of our local units of government support the use of tax abatements to encourage local industry to continue to reinvest in their businesses. The Chamber can help. We understand the process and the law. We can sit down with you to help you fill out the application to ensure that it is complete and accurate. We also work with several of the local units of government to prepare the paperwork. We also attend the public meetings to support you in your application.

Product or Service Matchmaking

We work closely with most of the area manufacturers. If you are looking for a supplier to fill a supply chain need give us a call. We regularly make introductions to facilitate deal making.

Location Information

Northwest Ottawa County is made up of 76.96 square miles of territory and a very diverse economy. We have a large number of retail and hospitality businesses as one might expect from a community that derives a significant amount of its annual revenue from tourism, but we also have over 200 manufacturers and a large number of service and institutional organizations.


SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. SCORE has 389 chapters in locations throughout the United States and its territories, with 10,500 volunteers nationwide. Local chapters provide free counseling and low-cost workshops in their communities.

Grand Haven is served by the Muskegon Chapter of SCORE, which is made up of a group of business executives living along the Lake Michigan shoreline from Grand Haven to Ludington. They volunteer their time to help people start businesses. To find out what types of services are available or set up a virtual meeting with a counselor follow the link to their website, select “Find a Mentor” and scroll down to “Mentor Request” and enter your “Zip Code”.


The Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg has a high-quality, full-service Michigan Small Business Development Center (Mi-SBDC) that offers support to small SBDCbusinesses. Support includes: small business counseling, start-up assistance, business plan preparation, financial trend analysis and assistance with projections, financial packaging and loan assistance, licensing and permitting information, management and training assistance and referral resource to other providers within the community, the region and the state of Michigan. The Chamber offers these services to businesses and individuals located within Northwest Ottawa County. The Chamber’s Small Business Development Center is part of Region 7 which is based at Grand Valley State University. Additional training and seminars are also available on a regular basis that address specific business needs and concerns.

SBA 504 Loan Financing

Is your business looking to buy or construct a building or add machinery and equipment? The Chamber can help connect you to the right resource. Small Businesses along the Lakeshore can access long-term low-interest financing called SBA 504 loans through Great Lakes Commercial Finance The SBA 504 loans, which Great Lakes Commercial Finance processes, closes and services, are made to small businesses for real estate acquisitions, construction and equipment purchases. 504 financing offers several advantages to the small business investor including longer terms, low down payments, attractive interest rates and lower lender risk.

For more information and a referral to an Great Lakes Commercial Finance staff member contact 616.846.3165.

Typical SBA 504 Financing Package

Bank 50% Market Rate, 10 year on real estate/7 year on equipment – First Lien
SBA 40% Fixed Rate 20 year real estate/10 year on equipment – Second Lien
Owner 10% equity injection
Total 100%