• Economic Development

    Other Sources for Economic Development Information:

    Bay Area Business Growth

    It’s always the growing season in Bay County with plenty of business development incentives. Real-world business support plans help smooth the way and cut red tape for new firms and expanding companies. Economic development professionals provide services for business and industrial development that can be utilized immediately whether the issues involve strategies for financial assistance, infrastructure improvements, public relations in the community, training the workforce, or introduction to the community.

    Several of these assets stand out: Delta College’s Division of Corporate Services is a worldwide training operation with the capacity for on-site training in automotive, manufacturing, business services, education and financial markets. The Small Business & Technology Development Center, located at Delta College, provides direct assistance and services to growing Bay County business.

    Materials testing facilities, such as the Independent Testing Laboratory at Saginaw Valley State University, offer material properties testing for regional industry. The Michigan Works! Bay County One Stop Center provides complete workforce development services to employers. Then there is an array of financial incentives designed to bring new business and industry to Bay County. Loans from both the private sector and state and federal government in the form of venture capital, industrial revenue bonds, fixed asset loans and other sources are online and tailored to new or existing business.

    The Price is Right

    Bay County ranks well on the "Means City Cost Index" which surveys 30 cities nationwide on the cost of construction materials and labor. The bottom line: Bay County is 5 percent below average on material costs and 9 percent under for labor costs.

    POPULATION (estimate)
    Bay County 107,771
    Bay City 34,932
    Saginaw/Bay/Midland MSA 391,569
    State of Michigan 9,883,640

    Source: US Census Bureau and Michigan

    McLaren Bay Region 1,756
    Dow Chemical Company 1,200
    Bay City Public Schools 1,203
    General Motors Powertrain 976
    Delta College 920
    Michigan Sugar Company 770
    Meijer, Inc. 736
    Bay County 584
    Consumers Energy 495
    S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. 456
    City of Bay City 419

    LABOR FORCE (estimate)

    Bay Regional Labor Force 53,100
    Total Bay County Employment 48,900


    TRANSPORTATION RESOURCES — by land, by water, by air

    ROAD — Three major highways, including Interstate 75 and U.S. 10, and four state trunk highways provide excellent road transportation to and from Bay County.
    RAIL — CSX Transportation, Central Michigan Railroad Company and Lake State provide rail service in Bay County.
    AIR — MBS International Airport is serviced by two airlines, providing 35 daily flights including direct flights to Detroit, Minneapolis and Chicago. James Clements Airport, located within Bay City, has three runways and features water landing capabilities.


    Bay County is strategically located 100 miles north of Detroit and within a 500 mile radius of:

    • 52% of all U.S. Manufacturing
    • 50% of all U.S. Retail Sales
    • 14% of the U.S. Population
    • 20% of the U.S. Personal Income
    • 44% of the Canadian Population
    • 45% of Canadian Personal Income



    Bay County utility rates are consistently below regional, statewide and national averages.

    Consumers Energy provides gas and electric service to most areas outside the City of Bay City. The company also produces steam, hydroelectric, pumped storage and nuclear power. Bay City Electric Light and Power Company contracts with Consumers Energy to provide inexpensive energy to the City of Bay City and a few areas outside the community.

    A Growing Harbor Community
    New businesses and industries are locating here while established companies are expanding their current locations rather than relocating. A first class technology park, located adjacent to U.S. 10 and near I-75, provides quality business development opportunities. Twenty-five marinas now serve Bay waterways. Downtown and riverside condominium developments address residency needs of a growing population.

    Agriculture continues to revolve around the sugar beet, the bean and the potato as the region ensures its reputation as a national growing region for these food products.

    It is the right climate for the entrepreneur. Bay City and Bay County have become one of Michigan’s leading areas for development. A population of over 400,000 in the Great Lakes Bay Region supports a vibrant wholesale, professional, service, retail and manufacturing economy. Bay City, with over 35,000 residents, and Bay County, with 109,000, rank number two in the region with a workforce both talented and technical. The Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant was awarded to the Mid-Michigan Innovation Alliance, with team member Saginaw Valley State University. The mid-Michigan WIRED project offers our region a diverse toolkit of workforce development opportunities.

    Three reasons account for the current level of investment. One, a fertile business climate and excellent infrastructure. Two, a rich and diversified quality of life revolving around the waterways. Three, a lifestyle that daily expresses the values of hard work, discipline and friendship. In other words, Bay City and Bay County offer a growing environment conducive to development and prosperity.

    “Bay Area...On the Go!”

    As a site location, Bay County meets your business relocation criteria head-on: a pro-business development culture, proximity to markets, transportation infrastructure and an educated and technically current labor pool. This pro-business attitude is due to the long industrial history of the region.

    Our business community thrives in different settings. Many are located within the city of Bay City such as General Motors Powertrain and other large corporations and operations found in the Marquette Industrial Center. Other industrial locations can be found outside the city, such as the Valley Center Technology Park on US-10 near I-75 in Monitor Township.

    Dozens of smaller specialty manufacturers are locally owned and operated. Products with the local label range from chemicals to potato chips, sugar to sheet metal, wood chips to wooden sailboats. And then there’s cheese, aerospace components, turbine engines, hand trucks, tool and die, cement...even cucumbers. Nothing is too big or too small for the Bay Area — we welcome everyone to visit and set up shop here!