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Economic Development

The vision of the Muskegon Lakeshore is brighter than ever. The vision is to create a model waterfront community where all people may prosper in a healthy environment. This vision is a product of the Muskegon Area-Wide Plan; many organizations were involved including the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, Muskegon Area First, the local units of government, and the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission.

Muskegon County is known for its diverse, entrepreneur-driven economy as a global leader in advanced manufacturing with specialization in Grand Valley State Universitymetal, plastics, alternative energy, and agricultural products, a popular Midwest waterfront destination for year-round tourism,
culture, and recreational activities as well as a destination for residential living and retirement. Muskegon is the regional lakeshore center for affordable, quality health care in basic and specialty services, retail services and life-long learning with an emphasis in workforce training, early childhood through higher level adult education, and private and public research.



Buy Local Think Global at101910-2 with colorsAs the Muskegon Lakeshore transitions into the global economy, it is important we support the local businesses that provide local employment, tax revenue and the goods and services we need.  Where we spend money does matter!

Spend a dollar at a local business, and it will circulate in our community more often and more quickly than if we spend that dollar at a non-local business – up to six times more.

This means your friends, neighbors, and associates:

  • Receive a regular paycheck
  • Pay their bills on time
  • Purchase goods & services from other local businesses
  • Create a more prosperous Lakeshore community

When all 178,000 residents in Muskegon County spend $100 at locally-owned businesses… it returns $10.5 million back into the local economy!

Click here for local purchasing guidelines
 |  Click here to find a local business

Click Here to view the 2018 Economic Forecast Presentation



It’s a great time to invest in the Muskegon Lakeshore. Manufacturing expansion and attraction projects are managed by Muskegon Area First, the county’s economic development corporation. They will assist in site selection for any project resulting in capital investment and job creation. They are located in the Hines Building along with the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and other business service organizations.


Downtown Muskegon Now resizedIt’s a great time to invest in Muskegon’s beautiful downtown as it continues to grow and thrive. Making the necessary public and private investments in downtown creates an environment that spurs larger regional investments. These dollars are returned to the community many times over through higher property values, new jobs, new residents and renewed civic pride. Click here for more reasons of why downtown’s are so important. Downtown Muskegon Now can assist you with your downtown investment. Contact them at 231-724-3180.


We are excited you are considering the Muskegon Lakeshore for your business location.  This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity and we want to help you do everything on time and on budget.

Since every industry is different and may be governed by different regulations, it may be wise to schedule an appointment with SCORE or an SBA counselor.  In Muskegon County, free counseling is offered Monday through Friday at the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce office.  For an appointment call 231-722-3751.

When opening a business, location considerations include real estate, zoning ordinances, parking and signage, market research, taxes and utilities and transportation. Whether you are building or buying, keep in mind the cost for building, fire, electrical, and plumbing inspections.  Also, be sure to obtain any State or local permits required for building or certifications are available as well, such as the LEED certification through the US Green Building Counsel. The community is here to help!  Contact your local municipality today for more information.

You will need to have a clear understanding about what services are being provided and for what fees. Click here to find a developer, architect, engineer, financial advisor or institution that meets your needs. Click here for a comprehensive list of business resources in our area.

Find something to do?
Don’t leave home without your Community Cash!

A gift certificate program that keeps cash local!

Let your employees, clients, co-workers, friends, and family members choose the gifts they really want and get a taste of what makes the Muskegon Lakeshore a great place to live, work and play with Lakeshore Community Cash!

Buy some now