Strengthening Regional Business Attraction Efforts


Cornerstone Alliance, Berrien County Community Development and Southwest Michigan Economic Growth Alliance Join Michiana Partnership Inc.

Collaborative economic development efforts across state borders; marketing for new industry and job creation for the Michiana region

BENTON HARBOR (Mar. 8, 2016) – Cornerstone Alliance, Berrien County’s lead, privately-funded economic development organization, Berrien County Community Development and Southwest Michigan Economic Growth Alliance (SMEGA) have partnered with Michiana Partnership Inc. (MPI) a regional business recruiting initiative for attracting new business and job creation. Michiana Partnership Inc is a consortium of local economic development organizations from Berrien and Cass, counties in Michigan, and Elkhart, Marshall and St. Joseph counties in Indiana. This partnership is focused on strengthening business attraction initiatives for Berrien County, Michigan.

“Cornerstone Alliance and MPI have partnered in the past for attracting new investments to the region,” said Greg Vaughn, Chief Operating Officer and VP, Business Development Cornerstone Alliance. “Through the addition of Berrien County Community Development and SMEGA, this is certainly a full collaboration representing the economic development partners of Berrien County. We look forward to our county’s business assets being promoted by MPI to prospects looking to make an investment in the Michiana region.”

Daniel Fette, Director, Berrien County Community Development added, “This multi-state approach generates more opportunities for Berrien County. MPI is a trusted partner across the border, and we know there is power in numbers which will help all of us with business attraction. When our leads increase, the opportunity is greater for a win. Once projects are secured, we will look to Kinexus, Berrien County’s workforce development agency to recruit, train and offer the talent needed for new industry.”

Regional business attraction efforts for states that share borders are happening throughout the country. According to Tracey Hyatt Bosman, a site consultant and Managing Director, Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company, economies don’t start at the borders, and economic development efforts can’t stop at the borders. Economic development has been gradually moving in the direction of regional cooperation.

MPI markets the Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan region at industry- specific trade shows, and other events across the country. Their attraction efforts are focused on site selectors and locational advisors representing industries that may be considering expanding or relocating their business.

Regina Emberton, President and CEO of MPI said, “We are delighted with this partnership. When we market the region, adding business assets to our pitch makes our area that much more attractive to industries considering making an investment. Whether Berrien County or one of our Indiana counties is successful in luring a new business to their community, it positively impacts the entire region.”

About Cornerstone Alliance

Cornerstone Alliance is a non-profit, investor-governed, economic development organization primarily focused on increasing employment opportunities, private sector capital investments and the local tax base in Michigan’s Great Southwest; with specialized business services offered in economically distressed areas.