Zeeland doubles investments in Lakeshore Advantage

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Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens presents to the Zeeland Board of Public Works. Courtesy Lakeshore Advantage

Citing the community’s heightened need for its services during COVID-19, Zeeland is doubling its contributions to the economic development agency Lakeshore Advantage.

The city of Zeeland and Zeeland Board of Public Works said Wednesday that they approved doubling their investments in Lakeshore Advantage.

The additional support was made in recognition of Lakeshore Advantage’s leadership during COVID-19 and the need for significant, continued business support in the post-pandemic recovery.

The Zeeland City Council approved a doubling of their annual contribution to Lakeshore Advantage from $22,500 to $45,000 on Monday.

The Zeeland Board of Public Works approved an increase of annual funding support from $25,000 to $50,000 on Wednesday.

“Since its inception, Lakeshore Advantage has been, and continues to be, a tremendous leader and partner with the city on our economic development efforts,” said Tim Klunder, city manager for Zeeland.

“We are known for our strong industrial base that results in a vibrant economy and offers great jobs within our community. With many businesses experiencing negative economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel our decision to double our contribution to Lakeshore Advantage is a solid investment in their services in order to ensure a full return to our strong local economic base. This is needed especially in a time when the current situation means others may not be in a position to invest in the important work of Lakeshore Advantage.”

The additional funding from Zeeland will go toward programming support, project management and other growth services Lakeshore Advantage provides to businesses in Allegan and Ottawa County.

“We are the megaphone for our region, ensuring area business leaders’ concerns are heard. It has been an honor and a privilege to support employers in good times and through crisis,” said Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage president. “Our team’s activity, one-on-one interactions and programming tripled from our typical outreach during this pandemic.”

Lakeshore Advantage

Founded in 2003 by business and community leaders, Lakeshore Advantage is a nonprofit economic development organization dedicated to ensuring current and future generations want to live and work in the area. Lakeshore Advantage assists primary employers in its service area, from startups to large corporations.

In 2019, Lakeshore Advantage supported 21 business growth projects, resulting in $127 million in private investment and 1,000 new jobs.

More information is at lakeshoreadvantage.com.

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