The South Bend-Elkhart region has a variety of economic, demographic and quality of place assets. The region’s key strengths include: many existing place-based assets, a competitive cost structure, access to markets, higher education resources, and cultural diversity. Innovation Districts are already emerging throughout the region, and leaders are exploring additional place-based development opportunities in their communities.
Given its central Midwest location and proximity to Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis, the South Bend-Elkhart region enables access to major cities, markets and customers. Residents and visitors to the region have access to local amenities such as Lake Michigan beaches, bike trails, a burgeoning local culinary scene, minor league baseball, theaters and a zoo, not to mention the cultural, sporting and community activities that the region’s higher education institutions provide. Cities such as Elkhart, Goshen, Mishawaka, Plymouth and South Bend have urban attractions of riverfronts and water amenities.