Fortune 500 company sets anchor for expansion


Byron Center-based SpartanNash is a wholesale food distributor and runs a portfolio of grocery stores under several brands. Photo via

A Fortune 500 company has decided to stay in West Michigan and expand its hiring — by up to hundreds — thanks in part to a state incentive.

Byron Township HQ

SpartanNash will receive a $2.75 million economic incentive package to keep the company, one of the largest food distributors in the U.S., headquartered in West Michigan, according to The Right Place, a regional economic development nonprofit.

The package announced this afternoon will ensure that SpartanNash stays in West Michigan and retains 620 existing jobs, adds 72 new jobs and stays flexible enough to add 300 more.

Byron Township, where the company is headquartered, at 850 76th St. SW, also plans to show support with a property tax abatement.

SpartanNash was born this July from the merger of the local Spartan Stores and the Minneapolis-based Nash Finch Company. The company said yesterday that the merger is complete.

The merged company said today that it will retain a "strong regional presence" in Minneapolis to support food distribution and Norfolk, Va. to support military operations.

The package to keep the company here was granted through the state’s marketing arm, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., via the Michigan Strategic Fund.

The grant includes milestones for investment and created jobs.

“We are proud to invest in Western Michigan and look forward to bringing additional jobs to the region,” said Dennis Eidson, president and CEO of SpartanNash. “We appreciate the support of The Right Place and believe that our strong partnership with state and local leaders will ensure the continued growth of our business and community.”

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“A great day for West Michigan”

It was a hard fight to keep SpartanNash in West Michigan, said Birgit Klohs, president and CEO of The Right Place.

There was huge pressure from the larger company in Minneapolis to move SpartanNash there, Klohs said, but the incentive package, Michigan’s business climate and the quality of life in West Michigan ultimately drove the decision to stay.

“What this means is that we kept a Fortune 500 company worth almost $8 billion from moving to Minneapolis. That’s the important thing,” Klohs said. “You keep all the decision making in your backyard and not in another state. That’s essential.”

Klohs called it a “great day for West Michigan,” adding that this is a perfect example that the area can compete in deep business waters and come out on top.

“The retention and expansion of our West Michigan companies, like SpartanNash, is at the core of our mission,” Klohs said. “Retaining their corporate headquarters in West Michigan is critical to our region’s long-term economic growth. Spartan has been an incredible economic asset to our region for nearly one hundred years — and it is our job to ensure they remain an asset for the next hundred years.”

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