SBERP Code of Ethics

Implemented in 2019, this Code of Ethics for partners and stakeholders of the South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership has been signed by all LEDOs located in the region and is supported by our regional stakeholders. This Code of Ethics serves as a guide for regional partners focused on increased collaboration and business development. Download the SBERP Code of Ethics.


South Bend Elkhart Regional Partnership (“SBERP”) is committed to the economic growth of the region in North Central Indiana and Southwest Michigan. SBERP brings together the interests of a broad range of private and public groups to promote the South Bend - Elkhart Region (47 smart connected communities and counties) as a single economic entity. The collaboration of such a variety of groups and interests requires that certain standards of conduct must be developed and adhered to for SBERP to meet its goals of generating new business leads, developing competitive product, and cultivating effective regional leadership for the region. The progress of our work together as a region will be determined by our ability to foster the general creation of prosperity as indicated by increasing employment, per capita income and GDP. This Code of Ethics represents the standards that partners and stakeholders of SBERP will uphold and encourage in the daily conduct of business.

We, the members of SBERP (representing the LEDOs, stakeholders and staff), set forth the following principles of behavior and standards of conduct to guide efforts in promoting the long-term economic health of the South Bend - Elkhart region. We fully realize that no Code of Ethics is of value without an inherent level of trust in the integrity of one another and a commitment from each of us to conduct ourselves at the highest levels of professionalism. SBERP was founded on the respect and trust of its partners and stakeholders. In that spirit, we set forth this Code of Ethics.

  • We recognize the commitment of SBERP member communities to think and act regionally. By doing so, SBERP seeks to (1) eliminate duplication of effort, (2) achieve greater economies of scale, (3) leverage resources to a greater degree, and (4) promote the most attractive environment for new business investment. We are committed to the promotion of the South Bend - Elkhart region as a desirable business location for new and expanding companies. When representing SBERP, we shall endeavor to sell "South Bend - Elkhart Region First" and our individual communities and projects second.
  • We shall honor the confidentiality requested by both our fellow LEDOs and our prospects. Information shared with LEDOs in confidence shall remain in confidence. Transactions are to be driven by the client. In the event a company seeks to relocate from one community within the region to another, every effort will be made to contact the affected community to let them know of the potential move. Violation of this commitment shall be viewed as the single most serious breach of the SBERP members and participation in SBERP.
  • We are committed to the concept of competition for locations and expansions among our individual communities and projects, provided that the prospect has asked for specific proposals or has settled on a South Bend - Elkhart Region location.
  • At no time shall any LEDO solicit a fellow LEDO’s prospects.
  • We are committed to working together with the real estate community and are in no way in direct competition with them. LEDOs are a resource and facilitator in the site selection process.
  • We are committed to sharing among our stakeholders and partners as much information as is necessary and prudent on any activity undertaken by or in the name of SBERP. Our guiding principle shall be that "more information is better than less."
  • We acknowledge that LEDOs are responsible for the quality of responses to SBERP prospects, for managing site visits, and for closing leads, with the support of SBERP staff and other ED partners.
  • At no time shall any LEDO advertise or promote its respective area to companies within another LEDO’s geographic area. "Selling against" another member community of SBERP, or direct solicitation of intrastate relocations, is strongly discouraged.
  • We are committed to locating prospects in the South Bend - Elkhart region. In the event that our local jurisdictions cannot meet the needs of a particular prospect we shall communicate with our fellow members in an effort to meet the company's needs elsewhere in the South Bend - Elkhart region.
  • LEDOs and their partner organizations shall hold all site and building information provided to SBERP by real estate brokerage firms in the strictest confidence. Said information shall not be printed, copied, and/or shown in any manner to any entity other than prospects or their direct representatives.

In all instances SBERP board members shall honor the confidentiality of individual prospects. Whenever possible, specific information on particular transactions shall be shared within the realm of SBERP. In those instances where prospects are dealing with individual communities, information will only be shared by SBERP staff and the LEDO(s) involved.

In instances where a prospect wishes to remain completely confidential with an individual community, the remaining members of SBERP shall honor that confidentiality and shall in no way attempt to intervene in the relationship. The prospect will remain confidential until the prospect chooses to announce.


  1. A “LEDO” is a local economic development organization or the professional which directs the organization.
  2. A “stakeholder” is a corporation, public entity or individual with a monetary or “in kind” interest in the South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership.
  3. A “partner” is an individual or organization in an active, collaborative working relationship to advance or resolve common interests.